Ruthelma D. Smith passed away on March 2, 2021. She was 97 years of age, having been born on May 21, 1923 to Charles and Mary Edna Dawe. Her Maternal Grandfather, Dr. Charles Mateer delivered her at the home of Charles and Edna and she was christened Ruthelma Faye Dawe. She grew up in Fremont, MI and graduated high school in 1941. After the start of WWII, she became a pen pal to her future husband, Donald J. Smith who was serving in the Navy. After corresponding throughout the war, they were married on June 26, 1945. Incidentally, this was only the third time they met in person! The happy couple started their married life in Alpena, MI and where she delivered 4 sons; Donald II, Charles, Randall and Martin. While in Alpena, Ruthelma and Don purchased a lot on Lake Huron which would become the site of their retirement home. The family moved to Midland, MI in 1957 where she was employed by Arbury and Sons Insurance as the bookkeeper for over 30 years while Don worked for Dow Chemical. After their work career, they returned to Alpena where Ruthelma absolutely loved living on the lake and listening to the waves crashing onto shore. Ruthelma became an accomplished seamstress and started off with making Barbie doll and American Girl doll clothing which she shared with her granddaughters and also sold at craft shows. She eventually graduated to quilting which she dearly loved doing with her nieces (Sharon, Joni, Cindy, Lisa and Beth). She often said “she who dies with the most fabric, wins” and she did win. After not having any daughters, her nieces were especially important to her and she was lovingly referred to as “Aunt Wow”.
Preceeding her in death were her husband, Donald, her parents Charles and Edna Dawe, her siblings; Bernard, Lucille, Esther, Clyde, Doris, Dixie, Dennis and Tom; and her Grandson Evan. Surviving are sons Donald J (Portia) Smith II of Jackson, MI, Charles D (Susan) Smith of Wellston, MI, Randall S (Ellen) Smith from Whitman, MA and Martin E. (Elizabeth) Smith of Irons, MI and grandchildren Nicole, Hedy, Donald III, Charles, Christie, Melissa, Ryan, Monica and Martin in addition to numerous great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. She will be sincerely missed by her family and friends.
Due to COVID restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a later date.