• Born on: March 31, 1928
  • Departed on: September 1, 2018
  • Resided in: Cresco, IA

Elizabeth "Betty" Ann Smith

Betty (Elizabeth Ann Allen) Smith died Saturday, September 1, 2018, at Patty Elwood Center in Cresco, IA, following a stroke. She was ninety years old, and surrounded by family.

Betty was born in New Orleans, LA, on March 31, 1928. Her family lived in several states before settling in Cedar Rapids where she graduated from McKinley High School. She attended secretarial school and went to work for W. Howard Smith as a legal secretary. She and Howard began dating and she later married her boss on October 8, 1949. They had two children, daughter Leslie and son Warren. They later divorced.

Betty continued her career in secretarial work in Cedar Rapids, eventually retiring from Collins Credit Union. Notably, she was able to adapt to the changing work landscape as technology advanced. Betty was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids. She volunteered at Headstart, and at the American Cancer Society clothes closet. Betty loved jazz music, especially Nat King Cole, and Louis Armstrong. She enjoyed traveling, first on cruises throughout the Mediterranean and learning about ancient history, then on naturalist led tours throughout the US and particularly Alaska. 

As Betty had been adopted as an infant, in 2004, Leslie, with Betty’s assistance, found her biological family. Still living at the time included several half-siblings. Betty was able to meet her youngest half sister, Ann LeBreton Campbell, who lives in New Orleans. Betty came by her love of jazz quite naturally! In 2005, Betty moved to Decorah and lived there until entering Patty Elwood in 2014.

Betty is survived by Leslie (Kevin) Sand of Decorah, IA, and Warren Smith of Austin, TX; four grandchildren, Jen (Carlos) Canales and Rob (Christine) Sand, all of Des Moines, IA, and Madeline Smith of Nagoya, Japan and Ivy Smith of Austin TX. Four great grandsons, Soren and Diego Canales and Tait and Axel Sand all of Des Moines. Half-sister Ann (Tootie) LeBreton Campbell of New Orleans, LA.

Betty was predeceased by her parents, Roy O. and Myrtle Allen, her sister Lorna Jean Hanson, and by her biological mother May Rita De St Germain.

Memorials may be directed to the music therapy programs at Aase Haugen Homes of Decorah and Patty Elwood Center of Cresco.
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