Mary Jane Carlton Smith, age 96, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on April 28, 2022 at the Wallace County Care Center in Sharon Springs, KS.
Mary was born on December 2, 1925 in Beloit, KS to Rev. A.L. and Laura (Lewis) Carlton. She was the youngest of nine children. Her father was a Methodist minister which took the family to Beloit, Norton, and Goodland before settling in Jennings, KS. Mary graduated from Jennings Community High School in 1943. She attended college at Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln, NE from 1943-1946. During these years she performed in many plays and traveled with a theater troupe. Mary married Darwin L. Smith on June 9, 1946 in Jennings, KS.
Since 1950, Darwin and Mary made their home in Sharon Springs, KS. She was a devoted wife, mother, and homemaker. In 1963 she added a career to her life when she went to work for the Sharon Springs school system. She worked in the office and then became the board clerk. She worked at the school until her retirement in 1991.
Mary’s memberships included the Sharon Springs United Methodist Church, the Methodist Women, the Sharon Springs Music Club, and the Wallace County Senior Center. She also served as the Sunday School Superintendent for many years, sang in the church choir, directed a children’s choir, and sang for many funerals and weddings. Mary and Darwin participated in several Lay Witness Missions through the church. Talking to others about her faith and her walk with Jesus was one of her favorite things to do.
Mary and Darwin were blessed with six children; Lois, Ellen, Sarah, Lora, Emily, and Lewis. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, Granny, and of course the best title she had, Great Granny. She took pride in her family making a home for them. She and Darwin always welcomed their friends and their children’s friends into their home.
She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Darwin, on October 14, 2004, her son-in-law Alan Roop, and grandson Garth Roop. She was also preceded in death by her parents; four brothers, Arlyn, Rev. Lawrence, Glen, and James Carlton; four sisters, Zelfa Neill, Harriett Casey, Naomi Carter, and Rachel Carter.
Mary is survived by Lois Pearce and her husband Bryan of Wallace, Ellen Roop of Lakewood CO, Sarah Alt and her husband Doug of Salina, Lora Rochholz and her husband David of Minot, North Dakota, Emily Bolen and her husband Bruce of Sharon Springs, and Lewis Smith and his wife Susan of Phillipsburg, 15 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 5, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM MT at Koons-Russell Funeral Home in Sharon Springs.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022 at 10:00 AM MT at the Sharon Springs United Methodist Church with Pastor Galen Crippen and Reverend Paul McNall officiating. Burial will follow in the Sharon Springs Cemetery.
The family has designated memorials in Mary’s memory to The Sharon Springs United Methodist Church for handicap accessible doors or the Wallace County Community Care Center and may be left at the services or mailed to Koons-Russell Funeral Home, 211 N. Main Ave., Goodland, KS 67735.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.koonsrussellfuneralhome.com.
Services have been entrusted to Koons-Russell Funeral Home in Sharon Springs, KS.
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