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1938 Geri 2024

Geri Smith

May 9, 1938 — January 18, 2024

Hawarden, Iowa

Beatrice Geraldine “Geri” Smith
May 9, 1938 - January 18, 2024

Beatrice Geraldine “Geri” Smith passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at the Hawarden Regional Hospital in Hawarden, Iowa, on January 18, 2024 at the age of 85. A Celebration of Life Service will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2024, at Hawarden American Lutheran Church in Hawarden with Rev. Kandi Anderson officiating. The Porter Funeral Home in Hawarden is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to www.porterfuneralhomes.com.

Beatrice Geraldine Ripley was born May 9, 1938 in Pierre, SD to Walter and Bertha (Mueller) Ripley. Geri graduated from Onida High School in 1956 and attended one year of college.  In 1957, Geri joined a close childhood friend in Washington D.C. and worked as a secretary for the United States Department of Agriculture.  There she met her future husband, Jerome Smith, from Hudson, South Dakota, who served in the US Navy and later the United States Foreign Service. Geri and Jerry were married on December 31, 1959.   The couple traveled extensively throughout the world with their journey of overseas assignments, welcoming three children born on three different continents.  In 1972 the family relocated to Hawarden, IA due to Jerry’s health.  Jerry died on February 11, 1972 at the age of 34. 
  
Geri raised her three children in the Hawarden community while working at West Sioux Veterinary Clinic for over 40 years.  Geri loved working with her plants and flowers, sewing and crafting, baking and cooking, traveling, and most of all, gathering with family and her group of dear friends.  She was an active member of the Hawarden American Lutheran Church, where she enjoyed her quilting group, as well as many Bible studies. She was a member of the Hawarden PEO, the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, and a volunteer at the Hawarden Hospital Thrift Store. Later in life Geri resided at Oak Hill Assisted Living in Hawarden and the Akron Care Center in Akron, Iowa. 

Geri is survived by her three children; Michele (Tim VanWyhe) of LeMars, IA and their children Jon (Ilsa) Lauters of Iowa City, IA and Lindsey (Eric Tonsfeldt) of Apple Valley, MN and their children Aaron and Alena; Kevin (Laree) of Hawarden, IA and daughters Sophie (Grand Rapids, MI) and Olivia (Hawarden, IA); Karla (Dan Socarras) of West Des Moines, IA and daughters Kalista (Lafayette, CO) and Danielle (Lafayette, CO). She is also survived by sisters-in-law, Diane Cramer, Joan Smith, and Denise (Doug Van’t Hof); brothers-in-law, Rod (Marie) Smith, and Gene (Ann) Smith; as well as several nieces and nephews. 

Geri is preceded in death by her husband Jerry; parents, Walter Ripley and Bertha Chase; siblings, Dale Ripley and Sharon Ripley Donnelly; step siblings, Delmar Ripley and Theola Thomas; mother and father-in-law, Fran and Rex Smith, brother-in-law, Murray Smith, and son-in-law, David Lauters.

Memorials can be made to the Hawarden American Lutheran Church, the Akron Care Center, or Hawarden Regional Healthcare.


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Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

Hawarden American Lutheran Church ELCA

1417 12th St, Hawarden, IA 51023

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