Obituary and Condolences

Kathleen Mary Smith
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Obituary for Kathleen Mary Smith

Kathleen Mary Smith
January 6, 1927 – April 21, 2017

“Unique and special in so many ways…”, Kathleen Mary Smith died peacefully on Thursday, April 21, in Iowa City, Iowa. Born on the Twelfth Day of Christmas in Tuticorin, South India, the daughter of Frank Schofield Sagar and Nora Winifred Peacock Sagar, Kathleen attended boarding school from kindergarten to Standard 12 at the Presentation Convent, Kodaikanal, South India. The school was run by Sisters of the Presentation Order from Ireland. Holidays were spent with her parents in Ambasamudrum, which involved a long and lovely trip down the winding ghats to the plains below. With the death of her father in 1942, the family returned to the UK, arriving in January, 1945 on the Johan van Oldenbarnvelt, a requisitioned Dutch ship. On reaching England, the convoy split south of Ireland and the captain elected to head for Glasgow instead of the intended destination, which was Liverpool. All the ships that went to Liverpool were sunk by German U-boats.
In the UK, Kathleen received a degree in Home Economics at the College of Manchester and then taught in many places including Northern Ireland before accepting a teaching position with Shell Oil Company in Maracaibo, Venezuela. There she met Rodney John Howard Smith. They married in 1952. In 1957, Kathleen and Rodney and their sons, Richard, Jeremy and Nicholas, immigrated to Canada. In 1968 they immigrated again, this time to the United States where Kathleen lived the rest of her life. When asked whether she ever experienced Heaven on Earth, Kathleen would answer: “Yes, with the birth of each one of my sons.” And her advice to those would listen – “Don’t take life too seriously. It is short, so have fun, enjoy yourself and look after yourself; you only pass this way but once. And when I die, think only this of me - that there is a place in your heart that is forever me.” Kathleen was preceded in death by her husband and is survived by her sons, Richard John Howard (wife Lynne, children Rion, Jenna, Jessica and Luke), Jeremy James Howard (wife Debbie, children Bailey, Natalie and Nicholas) and Nicholas Jules Howard (wife Patricia, children Ashley, Casey and Molly). Her family is grateful to the staff at Briarwood, Iowa City for their care and friendship with Kathleen the last five years. In lieu of flowers, donations to Kidneeds, a fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are appreciated.


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