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Ruth E. Smith

March 3, 1925 May 31, 2016
Ruth E.  Smith
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Obituary for Ruth E. Smith
Peoria- Ruth E. Smith passed away on Tuesday, 8:39 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, 2016 in the nursing unit of Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria.

Ruth was born March 3, 1925, near Mt. Sterling, Ill., to William and Mayme Holtkamp Ferguson. She married James R. Smith on October 1, 1944, at Hunter Field, an Army Air Force Base near Savannah, Ga. He preceded her in death May 23, 2012.

Surviving is one son, Larry (Christine) Smith of Princeton, Ill; a daughter, Beverly (James) Donovan of Wayland, MA; four grandchildren, James (Thidie) Donovan of Franklin, MA, Michael (Karen) Donovan of Medfield, MA., Carrie (Dean) Mak of Naperville, Ill., and Matthew (Becky) Smith of Ft. Collins, CO; ten great grandchildren; one sister, Phyllis Gibson of Peoria; and one brother, Jerome Ferguson of Peoria.

Ruth grew up a true country girl, living on a farm and attending one-room schools, to which she walked long distances and sometimes rode horseback with her father, if a flooded creek was too high for her to safely cross. When the family left the farm during the Great Depression, she completed her education at St. Mary’s Academy in Mt. Sterling, graduating in 1942.

After her children started grade school, she took a clerical job at an insurance company. A few years later, she left there to take a secretarial position with Sturm Freightways in Peoria.

Dedication and diligence led to her becoming the company’s president a few years before she retired in 1980.

Upon retirement, Ruth and Jim moved to the Sunrise Beach area at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

They enjoyed life there, having a large circle of friends and being quite active in their church.

Their lakeside home was always open to family and friends from near and far. When Jim’s health began to fail, they reluctantly left the lake and moved back to Peoria in 2005 to be closer to family and medical care. Their new residence was Lutheran Hillside Village, where they adapted quickly and for a few years, had a life that was relatively healthy and carefree.

The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Lutheran Hillside Village, and OSF Hospice for their care and loving support.

A Funeral Mass to celebrate her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at St. Mark Catholic Church, 1113 W. Bradley Ave. in Peoria, with Father Geoffrey Horton officiating.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the mass on Saturday, at the church.

Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery in West Peoria.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lutheran Hillside Village Foundation or OSF Hospice.
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Previous Events





9:30 AM 6/4/2016 9:30:00 AM - 10:30 AM 6/4/2016 10:30:00 AM
St. Mark Catholic Church

1113 W Bradley Ave
Peoria, IL 61606

St. Mark Catholic Church
1113 W Bradley Ave Peoria 61606 IL
United States

Funeral Mass




10:30 AM 6/4/2016 10:30:00 AM - 11:30 AM 6/4/2016 11:30:00 AM
St. Mark Catholic Church

1113 W Bradley Ave
Peoria, IL 61606

St. Mark Catholic Church
1113 W Bradley Ave Peoria 61606 IL
United States

Cemetery Details


St. Joseph Cemetery Final Resting Place

2105 W. Heading Ave.
West Peoria, IL 61604

2105 W. Heading Ave. West Peoria 61604 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Lutheran Hillside Village REACH Program

OSF Hospice

530 NE Glen Oak Drive
Peoria, IL 61637-0001
Lutheran Hillside Village Foundation

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