Memorial services celebrating the life of Ralph A. Smith, 76, of Geneseo, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 25 at Vandemore Funeral Home, Geneseo. A visitation will be held one hour prior to service at the funeral home. Memorials may be left to the Izaak Walton League, Geneseo Chapter. Ralph died on Monday, May 6, 2013, at Hammond-Henry Long Term Care Unit. He donated his body to the University of Iowa for anatomical study.
He was born on March 13, 1937, in Toulon, the son of Duane and Doris (Rist) Smith. He married Lois G. Walsh on Sept. 5, 1959, in Cuba, Ill. She died in 2011. He worked 34 years for John Deere & Co. as a draftsman engineer from which he retired in 1992.
He had been a member of First United Methodist Church, Geneseo. He was very active in the Izaak Walton League, Boy Scouts of America, Carpenters for Christ, and he and his wife, Lois, were very active and instrumental in the Heifer International Project and promoting their organization. He started and organized mission trips to Jamaica for dental care for the needy, which are still ongoing today. The past two years they dedicated their trip to Ralph in his name. He enjoyed and appreciated the wonderful service the First Baptist Church provided on Sundays at the Long Term Care Unit. He enjoyed woodworking, yard work and tending his roses.
Survivors include two sons, Patrick (Mary) Smith of Commerce City, Colo. and Robert P. (Sharon) James of Geneseo; one daughter, Laurie (Jim) Cullen of Roswell, Ga.; one daughter-in-law, Linda James of Tomah, Wis.; six grandchildren, Jennifer, Heather, Christopher, Melissa, Jorden and Delaney; and two great grandchildren, Alicia and Camden. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lois; one son, Hank James; three brothers and his granddaughter, Tyler.