November 14, 1929-
March 2, 2014
Mary Louise Smith (Louise) died on March 2, 2014 at her daughter’s home in Wichita, KS. She was born on November 14, 1929 to James Caswell and Magdalene Johnson in Carthage, MO. She married Harold E. Smith on August 19, 1951 in Carthage, MO. Harold passed away on August 18, 2010, 1 day shy of 60 years of marriage together. Since that time Louise has spent time in Newton and Wichita, KS with their daughter Pamela and her husband, Wayne Burns, and on the family farm outside of Adel, IA. Following her diagnosis of cancer just over a year ago, Louise was able to enjoy a wonderful 12 months with family and friends prior to her death. Louise attended 2 years of college at McPherson College in Kansas, leaving in 1950 to teach school for 2 years in Missouri as Harold finished his college degree. She and Harold moved to Chicago in 1952 where Harold studied at Bethany Theological Seminary where he received his divinity degree in 1955. During this time Louise supported Harold in his studies and raised their daughter Pamela, who was born in November 1952. Soon followed by the births of sons Michael and Douglas, Louise focused on raising their three children and supporting Harold.
Most of Louise and Harold’s married life was spent in Central Iowa where Harold was a Pastor of the Church of the Brethren in Maxwell, IA for over 42 years and a guidance counselor with the Des Moines school system. Louise was Harold’s full partner in the ministry as she played the piano and organ almost every Sunday, taught Sunday school and ministered to the church community. Louise and Harold were also part-time farmers on the family’s home place in Adel, where they found tremendous pleasure working on the 112 year old farm home and farming the land that belonged to Harold’s great-grandfather.
When Louise and Harold retired they loved spending time with their family, including eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and friends, and that favorite pastime continued after Harold’s death over three years ago. Louise enjoyed playing the piano and continued to play for family and friends even in the last days of her life. Louise also loved gardening and growing the most beautiful flowers that she would take to church almost every Sunday. Other favorite pastimes included tying quilts and baking dozens of holiday cookies for friends and family and watching basketball.
Louise is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Pamela and Wayne Burns of Wichita, KS; son Michael Smith and his partner Alberto Chang of Boston, MA; grandchildren, Alicia Jayne, Megan Small, and Chasity, Jack, Benjamin, Matthew, Adam and Evan Smith; and six great-grandchildren, Luke, Olivia, and Landon Jayne, Miles and Etta Small and Kaelynn Litchfield; two sisters, Joan Wilson of Jasper, MO and Phyllis Royer of Lincoln, NE and many nieces and nephews. Louise is preceded in death by her parents; husband Harold; a daughter who passed away upon birth in 1954; and son Douglas Smith. A visitation will be held Thursday evening from 6 to 9 PM at the McCalley Funeral Home in Adel, Iowa, with sharing time at 7.30 PM. Funeral services will be 10:00 AM Friday, March 7th at the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren in Adel, Iowa with burial at the Church of the Brethren Cemetery at Panther Creek.
Memorials requested in lieu of flowers for the Heifer Project International and the Harry L. Smith Scholarship Fund at Bethany Theological Seminary.
Cochran Mortuary at 1411 North Broadway in Wichita, KS is in charge of arrangements there and online condolences can be left at mccalleyfuneralhome.com.