Eva Smith, 94

Eva Mae Smith, age 94, longtime Sturgis resident, died Tuesday morning, March 2, 2020, at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis.
She was born on July 26, 1925, in Whitley County, Ind., to Fred and Della (Montz) Englarth, and moved to Sturgis as a girl with her family. She graduated from Sturgis High School in 1943. After living in Highland Park to do office work in support of World War II, she returned to Sturgis and married Labon Smith in 1948. Labon passed away in 1996. Eva and Labon were members of Sturgis First United Methodist Church.
Eva worked as a secretary at Freeman Manufacturing Company, Direct Lumber Company, Glen Oaks Community College and Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County. Although she suffered from dementia in her later years, until recent times she still knew how to read and write shorthand. While she found the shorthand notes she wrote to herself useful, they baffled everyone else. In her free time, she loved to knit and make baby blankets. She also was an active correspondent who enjoyed writing letters to many friends, until her health made this impossible.
Eva is survived by her two sons, Norman (Barbara) Smith of Howe, Ind., and David (Lisa) Smith of Virginia Beach, Va. Eva also is survived by numerous nephews and nieces;four great-grandchildren; and four grandchildren, Jason (Amanda) Smith of Sturgis, Tyson Smith of South Bend, Tonya (David) Smith of Bluffton, Ind., and Laura (Kenny) Jolly of Virginia Beach, Va. She was predeceased by her sister, Norma Zabel of Sturgis; and a grandson, Paul Smith, of McLean, Va.
Eva’s family is especially grateful to the pastors and parishioners of Sturgis First United Methodist Church, the Thurston Woods staff, other caregivers and the many friends who visited Eva during her declining years.
The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis. Funeral services celebrating the life of Eva Mae Smith will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Sturgis First United Methodist. The Rev. Sue Babb will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the service at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.
The family suggests anyone wishing to make a donation in Mrs. Smith’s memory consider Sturgis First United Methodist Church, 200 Pleasant St., Sturgis, MI 49091.
Her obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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