Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dorothea Smithback

Dorothea Smithback (nee Gitzel), 82, died unexpectedly at home on Sat. Oct. 4, 2008.

Dorothea had a great life and died exactly the way she wished – happy and healthy until the end. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, where she met her husband of 59 years with whom she raised a family and traveled the world, visiting six continents and never losing her enthusiasm and curiosity. Dorothea enjoyed games of all types (as anyone who ever went to a party at her house knows) and was an avid bowler and bridge player, a tepid golfer and a member of Meadowbrook Country Club for 38 years.

She loved nature: a camper, gardener, birdwatcher, Girl Scout Leader and camp counselor, she passed on her love of the outdoors to her children and grandchildren. She was one of the original volunteers for Meals on Wheels, delivering meals to seniors for over 40 years. A member of AAUW, she was a life-long learner and voracious reader. She loved to say, "Oh, Eldon," and was recently trying to give up using the word "wow." But we could go on and on: Dorothea was generous, opinionated, lively, intelligent, funny, beautiful, adventurous, energetic, strong, a fantastic cook, a great singer, a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother – and we can't believe she is gone.

She will be terribly missed by her husband, Eldon; their children Katrin (Sherie Land) Smithback and Eric (Martha) Smithback; their grandchildren Philip and Sara Smithback and Nandita and Dolna Smithback; her sisters Ruth Gitzel, Marion (Walter) Schmidt and Carol (Robert) Anderson; and friends and relatives too numerous to name.

There will be a memorial service on Friday, Oct. 10, at Maresh Meredith and Acklam Funeral Home, 803 Main St. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., the service will be at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Dorothea's favorite charity, The Smile Train, 245 Fifth Ave., Suite 2201, New York, NY 10016. And take a solemn vow never to put maple syrup on your potato pancakes.

803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888

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