Rosalie Marie Thompson Smith was born on June 30, 1926, in Goodland, KS, to Fred and Lydia Thompson, wheat farmers in northwestern Kansas. Rosalie was Lydia’s only child and grew up on the farm, enjoying country life to its fullest. It was during this childhood time that Lydia introduced her daughter to sewing, quilting and crocheting – all of which Rosalie enjoyed for the rest of her life.
Rosalie got her early education in a small country school and even though these were the Depression years Rosalie liked her time spent in country school and many times recalled her time there with fondness. In the fall of 1939, Rosalie enrolled in high school in Brewster, KS. She enjoyed high school, especially the business classes. This was also the time when she met her future husband, Junior C. Smith, better known as ‘Smitty’. They dated for a few years before Smitty enlisted in the Marine Corp in 1942. It would be three years before they could see each other again. Smitty was an Infantryman in the South Pacific. Rosalie became a bookkeeper for the local grain elevator after graduating from high school in 1943.
After the war ended Smitty and Rosalie married in September of 1945. Smitty became a full time wheat farmer. Rosalie’s first child, Fred, was born in January 1947 and a second child, Linda Sue was born in January of 1952. In 1955, after a trip to the Black Hills the family fell in love with the area. Smitty then purchased a unit on the Angostura Irrigation Project and the family moved to South Dakota in June of 1956. The children were raised on the farm and both went to elementary school in Oral, SD and to high school in Hot Springs, SD.
Rosalie began work in town in 1959. She worked in the county treasurer’s office, the old Sister’s Hospital and Freed’s Fine Furnishings. In 1966 she started to work at The Veterans Administration Center and held various secretarial positions there until her retirement in 1980. From 1980 on she was again on the farm as a homemaker and the business’s record keeper. Fred, her son, had returned from the service and was now in partnership with his father on the ranch. By now there were three grandchildren on the ranch for Rosalie to enjoy. She really liked watching them in all of their school activities. Another thing which she really liked was car club-a group of people with old cars who went on various expeditions and outings.
Rosalie moved to Hot Springs in May of 1988 after Smitty had suffered a stroke in 1987. After Smitty’s move to the Castle Manor nursing home, Rosalie visited him daily, often feeding him lunch. Her devotion and commitment never wavered until his death in 1994. Rosalie moved to Wynia Apartments and remained there until June of 2013. She then moved to Pine Hills Assisted Living. She really liked Pine Hills and stayed there until a cancer diagnosis brought her to Golden Living Nursing home. She passed away on October 7, 2013. She will be missed by her family whom she loved very much as they did her. Her faith was very strong and she was at peace when she left us.
Survivors include her son, Fred Smith of Hot Springs, daughter, Linda Sue (Bob) Stannard of Denver, CO; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, October 14, 2013, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hot Springs with Pastor Dwayne Hunzeker officiating.
A memorial has been established in Rosalie’s name to benefit St. John’s Lutheran Church.