Gelenia D. Smith, known to most as “Jill” or as “Grandma Smith,” passed away just before 5:30 p.m.on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in her home north of Hoffman Lake. Having spent most of her life in the Atwood area, Smith was 79 years old.
She was born in Marshall County on Dec. 31, 1939, and was the daughter of Bernard and Phyllis (Davis) Young. Although she held several positions throughout her life, most people would associate Smith with careers at Dytronics, C&I and Zimmer where she worked as a machinist. Known as a hard worker, most recently she worked for Martin Financial.
On Dec. 3, 1979, she was united in marriage to John F. Smith. Together they shared nearly forty years before his passing in 2015. They were both active in Kosciusko County Saddle Club, Frances Slocum Trail Riders and enjoyed riding horses. Smith was strong-willed, independent and had a heart for children. She was passionate about teaching children to ride and spent many weekends hauling both the horses and their riders to 4H events, barrel races, and other equestrian events.
Smith also enjoyed camping and was a proud member of VFW Auxiliary – Post 1126, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Loyal Order of Moose and American Legion Auxiliary – Post 49; many of these things she shared with her late husband. Smith enjoyed sewing, crafting, embroidery and crochet. As a member of Liberty Sewing Circle, she supported the troops and veterans’ organizations with her sewing projects.
Those who survive include son, Steven (Penny) Thomas of Warsaw; two daughters, Desiree (Darcy) Whetstone of Etna Green and Ramona (Robert) Peterson of Warsaw; two step-sons, Stephen (Lori) Smith of Sandwich, Ill. and Bruce Smith of Warsaw; step-daughter, Melissa (Tom) Sorg of Kimmel; grandchildren: Mathew Thomas, Michael Thomas, Kyle Thomas, Darren Hurd, Carrie Hurd, Tod Whetstone, Phillip Whetstone, Tami Whetstone, Jeremy Whetstone, Mandy Peterson, Nicky Slone, Randall Grindle, Natasha Stephic, Tabitha O’Brien and Riley Wood; 19 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson. She is also survived by a step-sister, Rita (Steve) Sowers.
In addition to her husband, John, those who preceded Smith in passing include a brother, Dennis Young and great-granddaughter, Kayla Archer.
A funeral service, officiated by Pastor Carl Adams of Cowboy Church in the Meadows, will be held at Titus Funeral Home, 2000 East Sheridan Street, Warsaw at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23. Visitation will be held for two hours prior, beginning at noon.
Memorial gifts may be directed to Magical Meadows Therapeutic Horseback Riding. Checks may be made to Magical Meadows, 3386 East 525 North, Warsaw, IN 46582.