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Maurita Marie Smith

Visitation:
Friday, February 1, 2008
6:00 PM until 9:00 PM
City Drug Bed and Breakfast
Wheeler, TX

Service:
Saturday, February 2, 2008
10:30 AM
First United Methodist Church
Wheeler, TX



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Mother. Gammy. Friend.
After a fierce battle with her final health challenge, Rita Smith gently went home to her Maker on January 29, 2008 in Conroe, Texas. She was surrounded by family who loved her in this life. She was met, no doubt, by family and many friends who went before her. After all, family and friends was what Mrs. Smith, whom most everyone called Rita, was all about.

Rita was born September 1, 1923 in Mobeetie, Texas to ranchers John and Thelma Dunn. She graduated with honors from Mobeetie High School, as Salutatorian, where she played basketball and won awards as a declarative speaker. A sister to three brothers, she was a smart, vivacious, down-to-earth, Panhandle woman and a member of what has come to be known as the Greatest Generation. During World War II, she drove a tractor and helped her parents’ ranch, while all three brothers were in the service, fighting in a good war.

Attending Texas Tech, where she was elected a campus beauty, she met and married Lloyd C. Heiberg, a pilot in the U. S. Army Air Corp. they had two sons, Richard Lee Heiberg, now living in Conroe, Texas and Jeffrey Dunn Heiberg , of Buffalo, Wyoming. Her second marriage, to Bynum E. Smith, found them following Coach Smith’s coaching and teaching career through Mobeetie, Saint Jo, Dallas and Sanger, Texas, eventually bringing them back home to Wheeler, Texas, where Bynum finished his career as a respected superintendent of schools. Rita and Bynum’s two children are William Gregory Smith (married to Ruth Porter Smith) of Montgomery, Texas and Shelley Marie Hudgins of Conroe, Texas.

It is impossible to sum up a life like Rita Smith’s or to describe the effect she had on others. She touched whomever met her, coaxing them into a laugh or guiding them in a way that often advised: “Live your own life, not someone else’s”. Rita Smith also said we lived on this earth in order to help others. She did just that. Her own children, foster kids, coaches’ daughters, nursing home residents, the Methodist church, high school kids, her friends, her grandchildren, her nephews and nieces all felt her strong sense of loving care when they received her advise and support All are profoundly grateful for having known and loved her.

Rita is survived by her above-mentioned four children and beloved daughter-in-law, by her grandchildren, Mandy Nelson and husband Matt, Marcy Smith, Matt Smith and wife Lisa, Don Hudgins, Will Smith, Taylor Weatherly and husband Dustin and their two sons, Jay and Jett, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and innumerable friends.

Rita’s funeral will be at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, February 2, 2008 at the First United Methodist Church of Wheeler, Texas. She will be interred in the Mobeetie Cemetery, next to Bynum and her mother and father. The family will receive friends and relatives and celebrate fond memories of Rita, Friday, February 1, from 6-9 p.m. at the City Drug Bed and Breakfast in Wheeler. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Wheeler or to the American Diabetes Association.

In high school, Rita got a blue ribbon for reciting Rudyard Kipling’s “L’Envoi:”. The following is a verse from the poem. “And only The Master shall praise us, and only The
Master shall blame; and no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame, but each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star, shall draw the Thing as he sees it for the God of Things as They are!”

All arrangements entrusted to Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home in Montgomery, Texas and Wright Funeral Home in Wheeler, Texas. You may leave written memorial condolences to the family at www.shmfh.com or www.wrightfuneraldirectors.com




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