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Mary Jane Smith

Cedar Rapids

Mary Jane Smith died on May 17, 2018, following a short illness. She was 97. A longtime Cedar Rapids resident, she was born on May 8, 1921, to Winifred and Herbert Kohl. She grew up near Springville and graduated from Springville Community Schools in 1938.
Mary Jane married John D. "Jack" Smith on Jan. 14, 1947, in Cedar Rapids, after he returned from serving in World War II. They shared 56 years of a loving marriage before his death in 2003. In 1949, they were blessed with their daughter, Cynthia, who never failed to make them the proudest parents in the world.
This loving family traveled by train many times to Colorado and California, where an everlasting love of travel and beauty of the mountains was formed.
They had a huge garden every year. Jack worked in the garden and Mary Jane canned and froze everything they grew. There always was an abundance of green beans, tomatoes, rhubarb and raspberries (which never seemed to make it to the kitchen when grandson Alex was visiting).
Some of her most treasured moments were as a grandmother when grandson Alex visited during summer vacations. Together, they went to every movie being shown. Alex and Mary Jane played countless games of cards, which she took pride in letting Alex win.
Mary Jane was kind, strong, resilient and gracious. For many years, she made beaded Christmas tree ornaments that were lovingly gifted to family and friends. In recent years, she made dresses for girls in Africa. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, friend and neighbor. She was generous and a champion for the underdog. Her memory was unrivaled throughout her 97 years.
She is survived by grandson, Alex Morton, and his father, Dean Morton; son-in-law, Rich Jacobs; many special friends, including Lisa Long and Dana Derby; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and her daughter, Cynthia.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, June 2, at 1 p.m. at Oak Shade Cemetery in Marion, Iowa. The service will be followed by a short reception at the home of a friend.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Camp Courageous of Iowa, PO Box 418, Monticello, IA 52310-0418 and Especially for You Race Against Breast Cancer, Mercy Medical Center, Attn.: Especially for You, 701 10th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403.