Jean S. Smith
Sun Prairie – Jean Shirley (Sanderson) Smith, age 82, died peacefully at home on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, surrounded by her family.
The cause of death was acute leukemia, diagnosed just two months earlier.
She was born July 17, 1934, in the town of York to Carl and Margaret (Meyer) Sanderson where she attended the Lone Oak country school for seven years before attending and graduating from Marshall High School. Jean earned a two-year teaching certificate at then-La Crosse College in 1954 and taught one year in a one-room school house in Deerfield.
She married Lewis “Lewie” Smith on January 8, 1955, at the United Methodist Church in Marshall and moved with him to Ohio where he was stationed in the Air Force. Both of their daughters were born there: Shirley Smith (Terry Shelton) of Madison and Cyndi Kobi of Sun Prairie. Upon returning to Wisconsin in 1959, Jean taught for ten years at Marshall Elementary School and 20 years at Waterloo Elementary School. While teaching full time, she completed her bachelor’s degree in education at Edgewood College in 1964.
After both retired, she and Lewie, who survives her, sold their Marshall home and moved into what they called “Chapter Two: Up North” their lakeside cottage in Lake Holcombe which they had used only on weekends and holidays until that time. While they loved their time on the lake with its eagle sightings and squirrel highways in the towering trees, the cold weather was not for Jean. For many years they spent winters in Tucson as snowbirds and finally sold both places to move to Sun Prairie to be near family in 2008. Wherever they lived and in all of their travels around the country in their beloved fifth-wheel, Jean and Lewie collected cherished friends and loved ones who shared their hobbies of cardplaying, socializing, snowmobiling, dancing, listening to music and eating in rural Wisconsin supper clubs. Their door was always open for visitors, and happy hour on their porch was a daily tradition shared with many. Jean was an avid quilter and sewist and made countless clothes, quilts, toys and other projects throughout her life. Her beautiful sewing room was turned into a hospice in her final days where she could be surrounded by many of her creations and mementos.
Besides her husband and daughters, Jean is survived by her sister, Janet Novy, of Cypress, California, as well as grandchildren Emily Krause (David Peloza) of Wauwatosa, Sam Krause of Madison, Leah Duff of Madison and Alex Duff of the Virgin Islands.
Funeral services will be held at HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH, 605 Madison Street, Marshall, on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Bonita Vize officiating. Burial will follow at South York-Medina Cemetery. A visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until time of the service.
The family wishes to thank all of the friends and family who reached out to Jean, as well as the medical and support teams of Home Health Hospice and the Colonial Club who made her last days comfortable.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Services
1310 Emerald Terrace Sun Prairie