Irma Jean Smith, born October 9, 1934, the third daughter to Irvin & Lela (Blurton) Meredith in Sandoval, IL, passed away at the age of 86, in O’Fallon, IL surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
She married Charles T. Smith in 1957 and six children were raised of this union. They were later divorced.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Irvin & Lela Meredith; two sisters, Mary Jo Heinzman of Sandoval, IL, Dorothy June Meredith who died in infancy; her sons-in-law, Lee Hiltibidal and Jim Rollinson both of Centralia.
Irma was blessed with five daughters, one son and one honorary son. She is survived by all of her children, Vicki (Norm) Rooker of Las Vegas, NV, Cathy (Rob) Bottoms of Jacksonville, Fl, Patty Hiltibidal, Terri Rollinson both of Centralia, Cheryl (Jim) Shoffstall of Belleville, IL, Tom (Viola) Smith of Centralia; and her honorary son, Jay Stanley of Centralia.
She is also survived by her cherished grandchildren, Stephenie (Mercedes) Gherardini of California, Jill Sabugo of California, Tricia (Ben) Woolford, Jeanna (Shaun) Ashlock all of Centralia, Matthew (Heather) Morado of Georgia, Kristi Rollinson, of Centralia, Tyler Rollinson of Ohio, Adam Buehler of O’Fallon, IL, Thomas Smith, Michael Smith, and Mikayla Smith, all of Centralia. As well as the added blessings of several great-grandchildren.
She is also survived by her loving sister, Shirley (Vic) Tate of Centralia, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Before retiring, Irma was a nurse in the Emergency Room at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia where she made many lasting friendships of doctors, nurses, hospital staff and first responders.
When she lived in Centralia, she was an active member of Cornerstone UMC and loved singing in Demaree UMC Praise Choir. She was also a member of the Centralia Cultural Society Choral Group. After her move to O’Fallon in 2020, she attended Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL. Irma also was a member of the VFW Auxiliary.
Irma was an avid gardener and loved sharing her apples, veggies, and fruits with her church, family, and friends. She even tolerated the deer eating her crop, often reminding others that “God’s creatures need to be fed too.”
Her greatest joy was her family and time with one another, especially the large family meals.
Many people called her “mom” or “grandma” and to the neighborhood kids her back door was always open for them to come over to visit and eat cookies.
In 2020 as her health began to decline, she moved to Cambridge House Assisted Living in O’Fallon, IL where even in poor health, she soon made many new friends that brought her many months of smiles and joy to her final days. She will always treasure all her friends at Cambridge House. She loved the care she received while residing there and looked forward to her CNAs coming in to visit every day where she would make sure they stopped at her candy dish for a treat before leaving her room. While she loved all her caregivers, she would want to send a special thank you to her favorite CNAs, Suzette and Michele whom she felt went above and beyond in her care for her.
Irma did not want a funeral, instead it was her heart’s desire to have a “Homecoming Celebration”. It was her final wish that her death is not to be mourned, but instead be celebrated, as she simply changed her address from Earth to Heaven. In keeping with her wishes, there will be a Homecoming Celebration of Life at Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 2:00 P.M. with Pastor R.C. Merten officiating, followed by burial at Sandoval Cemetery. There will be a time of visitation for family and friends from 12:00 P.M. till time of service on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to the Sandoval Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund. Irma appreciated all the beautiful free work they provided. Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.
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