Wanda Mae Smith


Wanda Mae Smith, 88, of Huron, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Her funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Huron with burial at the Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery in Huron. Visitation with the family present will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 26, 2014, at Welter Funeral Home; or one hour prior to the service at the Church on Tuesday. Visit www.welterfuneralhome.com.

Wanda Mae Johnson, the daughter of Victor and Diana Trahan Johnson was born on July 6, 1925, on the family farm near Tunerville, South Dakota. She attended country school at the District 68 Deuel County School and graduated from the South Dakota School of Agriculture in Brookings, South Dakota, in 1944.

She and E. Keith Smith were married on June 11, 1944, in the First Congregational Church in Clear Lake, South Dakota.

Mrs. Smith was a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ and the Women’s Fellowship. She was also a member of the Beadle CO. 4-H Leaders Association, the County, State and National Pork Council, the Progressive Homemakers Extension Club, the Dearborn Township School Board, and Beadle Co. Farm Bureau. She also served on the Dearborn Township Election Board and organized the Beadle Co. Pork Council Women.

Her leadership roles included serving as treasurer of the South Dakota Ag in the Classroom, serving as the first female president of the Beadle Co. 4-H Leaders Association, and being elected to the South Dakota Porkette National Director position for two three-year terms.

In 1991, she was the first woman in South Dakota to receive the prestigious Pfizer Achievement award for her outstanding work in the pork industry. In the fall of 1996, she was recognized by South Dakota State University as Eminent Homemaker recognizing her service to agriculture in rural communities of South Dakota. She shared the honor with her husband of being recognized for Meritorious Service to 4-H. Of all of her accomplishments, she was most proud of her and Keith along with all their family members being selected as SDSU Family of the Year in 1997.

She enjoyed cooking for all the family members whenever they visited, crocheting and embroidery work, reading books, and her various traveling opportunities.

Grateful for having shared in Mrs. Smith’s life are her six children, Sharon and Gary Van Riper of Brookings, S.D., Marcine and Jack Elder of Fulda, Minnesota, Wayne and Kathie Smith of Salmon, Idaho, Betty and Mike MacNeil of Miles City, Dale and Bonnie Smith of Hitchcock, South Dakota, and Judy and Dean Stevens of Huron, S.D.; 14 grandchildren, David (Laura) Van Riper, Kristi Van Riper, Erin (Terri) Elder, Ryan (Melissa) Elder, Justin (Traci) Elder, Tyson (Stella) Elder, Jeri Jo (Chris) Casper, Amanda Smith, Christopher Smith, Matthew (Kristy) Smith, Marcus Smith, Garrett Smith, Megan (John Wailes) MacNeil, and Brendan MacNeil; 18 great-grandchildren: Colin Morris, Dillon Morris, Kaden Elder, Reegan Elder, Greyson Elder, Taylor Elder, Alexis Elder, Abbigail Elder, Olivia Elder, and Owen Van Riper, Keeton Elder, Creighton Elder, Nehemiah Elder, Truitt Elder, Samuel Elder, Quinn Elder, Seth Smith, and Jace Smith; sisters-in-law, Korlas and Don Winter and Marie Smith of Annandale, Minnesota; and many nieces and nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Keith in 2009; three brothers; and two sisters.