obituaries

Billie Marion "Mimi" Smith

Bethalto | Saturday, February 13 2010

Billie Marion "Mimi" Smith, 89, passed away at home with family at her side at 7:45 a.m. Saturday, February 13, 2010.

She was born Aug. 1, 1920 in East St. Louis, Ill. to John "Jack" and Rosa Mae (Wolfbrandt) Ritter.

On June 23, 1968 she married Everett Elias "Abe" Smith. He preceded her in death Feb. 10, 1992.

She is survived by son Charles W. Earnshaw, Jr., M.D. and Dawn R. Klopmeier of Bethalto; son and daughter-in-law Dr. Keith Robert and Maria Rosales Earnshaw of Raleigh, N.C.; grandchildren Lori A. Earnshaw Casper, M.D. and husband Michael of Louisville, Ky., Charles W. Earnshaw III of Alton, and Alexandra M. Earnshaw of Washington, D.C.; great grandson Evan N. Casper; numerous nieces, nephews, dear friends and step children located throughout the world.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings, Jack, Alba, Dorothy and Rob and her former husband Charles W. Earnshaw, Sr.

Mimi worked hard her entire life. She left high school at the age of 15 to work as executive secretary for the president of Air Reduction Supply in St. Louis. Mimi was a devoted mother and wife. After her marriage to Abe in 1968 she became co-owner and operator of Smith's Kitchens. Together they lived in Hot Springs, Ark. and ran back stretch cafeterias at Fairmount and Cahokia locally, Arlington Heights, Hawthorn and Washington Park in Chicago, and Oaklawn in Hot Springs. Mimi was well-known and respected by hundreds of racetrackers, horse people, patrons, politicians and dignitaries. She and Ave never turned a hungry person away.

Although she rarely attended a race, in 1978 she owned a 3-year-old thouroughbred runner "Bounce Lo", who won 2 races at Louisiana Downs Race Track and placed and showed in several others.

In 1980 she was appointed and commissioned by then-Gov. Bill Clintonto the position of "Arkansas Traveler". Although unable to attend, she was invit3ed to his presidential inaugurations. She was also appointed by Alorton Mayors Curtis Miller and Callie Mobly as "Special Police Officer".

After the death of her beloved Abe in 1992, she retired and moved to Alton to be closer to family and friends. In 2003 she began volunteer work with Dawn at St. Clare's Villa and in her son Chuck's private medical practice. In 2005 she moved to Bethalto for the quiet life, where Chuck and Dawn resided with her from 2008 until her death. She leaves behind a legacy of charity, hard work and optimism.

Per her request, cremation was carried out by Paynic Home for Funerals in Rosewood Heights, and there will be no services.

Memorials may be made directly to St. Anthony's Hospice in Alton.


Obit Provided By:
Paynic Home for Funerals

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