Mary Jo Smith

Mary Jo Smith

Mary Jo Smith


Mary Jo Smith, 85, passed away March 2, 2024. She was a beautiful soul: proud, accomplished, full of love, courage, and strength, and always accepted what came her way with grace and dignity by holding on to her Catholic faith that things happen the way they should, not always the way she wanted them to, as she prayed often “Thy will be done.”

Mary Jo was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the daughter of Clarence and Nellie Mercer. The Mercer family lived on a farm in Springville at the time. Mary Jo was the only daughter with three brothers, Richard, Robert, and James. In her youth, her family moved to

Marion where she attended Marion High School and met her future husband of 52 years, Kenneth (Kenny)

Leroy Smith.

They were married on September 8, 1956, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Soon after they began their family. They had 5 children;

4 boys and 1 girl; Kelly, Noel, Cary, Sean, and Shelly.

Mary Jo was full of energy, laughter, and determination as she raised 5 children, worked full time as an electronic assembler; mainly at Rockwell Collins, and spent her free time camping, boating, fishing, and playing cards, with Kenny, her children, and dear friends the Kriegel’s, Hutchin’s, and Herren’s. She also had a passion for collecting blue dishes and going to garage sales. Many, many dishes, and a lot of garage sales.

Mary Jo and Kenny had raised their family in Marion and once the last left their nest, they decided to explore other opportunities. They sold their shoe repair shop, Smitty’s, and moved to Loveland, Colorado. They made Loveland their home for 8 years before coming back to Iowa. First to Strawberry Point, then Dundee, and finally back to their beginnings, in Marion.

Over time, Mary Jo’s family had grown to include 6 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She loved to be near them and would always host all the holidays so they could spend time together.

After losing the love of her life in 2008, Mary Jo spent her time with her closest friends, Bev, and Ann; shopping, going to movies, and out for a meal, and they all went on a Mediterranean cruise together. stopping in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. She called it “The trip of her lifetime.”

Although, if she were here, she would say the trip of her lifetime was in what she lived, all of it. And it was beautiful, although not so wonderful at times, but she persevered, and in the end accepted that she had to say goodbye, “Thy will be done.” She will be missed, and the time spent with her cherished.

Funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion, on Friday, April 19, 2024, at 10:30 a.m., with visitation one hour prior to service. Inurnment will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Mary Jo’s memory may be directed to the Cedar Valley Humane Society.

Please share a memory of Mary Jo at under obituaries.

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