School 04

Ruth Smith

May 24, 1921 ~ October 6, 2020 (age 99)


MORTON – Ruth K. Smith, 99, of Morton, passed away on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at her home.

She was born on May 24, 1921, in Morton, Ill., to the late Oscar and Clara (Bartelmay) Mathis. She married James S. Smith in 1945. He preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by one son, James Scott Smith; and her sister, Lila Kaufmann.

Ruth is survived by her son, Timothy (Becky) Smith of Morton; three grandchildren, Sarah Smith of East Peoria, Laura (Geoffrey) Benn of Sacramento, Calif., and Timothy (Haley) Smith of Seattle, Wash.; and one great-grandson, Beckett Smith.

After graduating from the University of Illinois, Ruth taught kindergarten at Groveland and Morton schools from 1966 to 1987, and then later worked as a teacher at King’s Kids Christian Learning Center, retiring in 2003.

Ruth was outgoing and outspoken and never met a stranger. She had many hobbies, including reading, knitting, quilting and baking her annual assortment of holiday cookies.

Ruth was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood and an active member of Advent Lutheran Church in Morton, where she enjoyed the women’s Bible study and quilting group.

A private service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Runners Association or the Morton CUSD 709 Foundation Fund at

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.

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