St, Marys—Wilma K. Smith died Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at the St. Marys Manor at the age of 99. She was born January 14, 1919 to Matt and Edith Dalrymple Knedlik at Barnes, Kansas. She attended Poverty Knoll grade school and graduated from Barnes High School in 1936 the valedictorian of her class and was also named Most Outstanding Student. She attended Washburn College and Strickler’s Business College.
She married Vern Smith of Topeka on April 17, 1943. At that time, he was in the Signal Corps attached to the Air Corps and stationed at Tampa, Florida and she was working in the office of Sales Commissary at Ft. Riley. Later she joined him in Tampa where she worked for L.E. Alford, CPA, and later in the offices of the Army and Navy Stores. When her husband was transferred to Myrtle Beach, SC. she went with him and also went to Fresno, CA. where he was stationed at Pinedale Airbase and she worked in the Civilian Personnel Office at Hammer Airbase Field.
Returning to Topeka after the war, she was employed at the Central Press-Pictorial office for three years, then as a secretary to Bessie Brooks West, Kansas State University.
After the birth of her son, Terry Vern Smith, she returned to Central Press-Pictorial where she worked until they moved to St. Marys in 1963, when they purchased the Chevrolet dealership. She was the business manager for the dealership and she continued as the business manager for the new owner when the business was sold in 1969. She retired in 1990.
After the death of her husband on March 4, 1998, she traveled both in the US and foreign countries. She was a member of the United Methodist Church, the Literary Club, FCE, the Ladies Golf Club, Tuesday Afternoon Bridge group, American Legion Auxiliary of Jimmie Lillard Post No. 31 in Rossville and several domino groups. She also was a volunteer at the library.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and two sisters and her husband.
She is survived by her son, Terry and his wife Suzanne Smith of Urich, MO; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be at 2:00 P.M. Thursday, March 22, 2018 at Piper Funeral Home in St. Marys. Private interment will be in the Rochester Cemetery, Topeka. Mrs. Smith will lie in state on Thursday from 1:00 until service time. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Marys United Methodist Church or Kaw Better Home FCE Scholarship Fund and sent in care of Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple Street, St. Marys, Kansas 66536. To leave online condolences please go to www.piperfuneralhome.