Jean Smith

Jean F. Smith

Tuesday, July 21st, 1925 - Friday, November 20th, 2020
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Jean Fuller Smith, 95, of St. Joseph, MI was born on July 21, 1925 in Bloomington, IL and died Thursday, November 20, 2020 at the Whitcomb Towers in St. Joseph.

Jean was a graduate of Moore Township High School, Farmer City, IL class of 1943 and a graduate of Texas State Women’s College in 1947 with a degree in chemistry. On December 22, 1946 she married Robert “Bob” R. Smith in Farmer City, IL. She and Bob moved to Lansing, MI where she was a Lab Technician. They moved their family to St. Joseph in 1955 where Jean worked at Memorial Hospital as a Dietitian. She wanted to work as a nutritionist on the space mission project team; however, the company required prospective women employees for this project team to take a typing test. Jean asked if men were also required to take a typing test for this position. The answer was no. As a result, she decided to share her incredible math skills by becoming a teacher for the Benton Harbor Area Schools. When she and Bob moved to Flint, MI, she continued teaching math to GM workers so they could earn their GEDs. They moved to Richardson, TX for several years and then back to their beloved St. Joseph.

Jean was a member of St. Joseph First United Methodist Church for over sixty years. She served in many capacities during her years at the church, including volunteering at the Soup Kitchen.

She is survived by her daughters Loni (Phil) Maki of St. Joseph and Kim (Tom) DeLisle of Dade City, FL; grandchildren Meli (James) Zakhem, Marc DeLisle, Ben Maki and Katie Maki; three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Wayne Fuller and Melvina McMurphy Fuller, brothers Jack Fuller, Jim Fuller and sister Virginia Fuller Mitchell.

The family appreciates the warm love and excellent care provided to Jean by dear friend Julie Lester, the staff at the Whitcomb (especially the second-floor angels and James) and Caring Circle Hospice.

Due to the current circumstance, a memorial service for Jean will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 200 Turwill Lane Suite 6, Kalamazoo, MI 49006 or the St. Joseph First United Methodist Church, 2950 Lakeview Avenue, St. Joseph, MI 49085.Those wishing to leave a message of condolence for the family may do so online at Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services.
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Service Details

Due to the current circumstance, a memorial service for Jean will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 200 Turwill Lane Suite 6, Kalamazoo, MI 49006 or the St. Joseph First United Methodist Church, 2950 Lakeview Avenue, St. Joseph, MI 49085


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Dorothy Morgan

Posted at 10:57am
To the family and friends of Jean, I send my condolences and my wonderful memories of my dear friend who I will someday see when I join her. My favorite memories with Jean is when the four of us got together as best friends!

May Sisson

Posted at 04:29pm
I taught with Jean at Benton Harbor High School when I was right out of college. We had the same conference period and used to meet in the library conference room during that conference period, where we did much more talking than working. She was just enough older than I to be an excellent advisor, not only about teaching but also about marriage and personal life.
Jean and I both became members of the Acorn Society (Benton Harbor High School women teachers—“the best group of nuts around!”) After I “retired” to have my family, I still saw Jean at Acorn functions, because “once an Acorn, always an Acorn,” and after we both retired, I would pick her up at the Whitcomb and take her to our monthly Acorn breakfast, as long as she was able to do that.
She was an example of sweetness, patience, and love always, but especially in caring for her husband—and to me a precious, beloved friend I’m grateful to have known.

Nancy Hendrix

Posted at 08:27am
Mr. and Mrs. Smith were the Cleavers, the Anderson's the Nelsons, my parents. When their daughter Kim was in town, they always included me in a dinner celebration. I was one of the family. In one of the other condolences, there was a mention of how Mrs. Smith, as my Mother would say, dressed to the T. Mr. Smith was dressed in what ever Mrs. Smith directed him to. The most important things In their lives was their children, grandchildren, their love of God and love of fellow man. How they both will be missed.

Donna Dumke

Posted at 07:25pm
Dear Loni, Phil, Ben, and Katie,
So sorry to learn of the passing of your beloved mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. Loss of a loved one is never easy and even more so in this difficult time. Please know that we are thinking of you and we pray that your most treasured memories will be with you and sustain you at this time and in the days to come.
Donna and Mike Dumke

Barb Heenan

Posted at 06:46pm
Jean and Bob were some of my favorite patients when I was at Family Physicians of St. Joseph. They had a unique relationship and were very supportive and loving towards one inspiration to us all. She was meticulously dressed including makeup and jewelry and always looked stunning and Bob, too, was well dressed and spiffy. They were such a cute couple and always positive. Thank you for letting us take care of you....such a pleasure to know you. Barb Heenan, NP.

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