Cover photo for Rose Mary Smith's Obituary
Rose Mary Smith Profile Photo

Rose Mary Smith

Rose Mary Smith

, just one month shy of turning 102 years old, passed away peacefully at her home in Chandler, Arizona surrounded by family on Nov 4, 2021.

She was born to Joseph and Alice (Houser) Serbousek on Dec 4, 1919, in Fairfax, Iowa. The family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she grew up, immersed in the Czech heritage of her parents and grandparents. Rose Mary attended St. Ludmilla’s Catholic school and graduated valedictorian of her class. She was married to Elmer Smith in Cedar Rapids and together raised their family in Waterloo, Iowa.  She worked at the Homestead House in Waterloo from 1973 until she moved to Arizona in 2000.

Rose Mary is preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband Elmer, and sisters Agnes and Georgiena. She is survived by children Marcia Gaertnier, Patty Mayer, Carl (Kate O’Mara), Kelly (Chris), Sarita Wardlow (Michael), and Susan Sullivan, 19 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren, loving sister LaVerne Leonard and many nieces and nephews.

Our mother was a devoted wife, mother, “Babi” and friend to all, fortunate enough to know her. She loved unconditionally. She excelled at so many things in life – as a homemaker, an artist, poet, writer, gardener, seamstress, dancer, baker, cook, card, and dice player. Rose Mary had a sharp wit and was known for always having cookies and fudge in her fridge. She kept on top of all sports and had great fashion sense. No matter the time of day, she was up for a cup of coffee, visitors, and always a card game of May I!

It has often been repeated that those blessed to live as long as our mother would be envious of the respect she garnered, evidenced by the constant stream of her family to ‘Arizona central’ for visits. A remarkable woman by any standard!  She put family, friends, and neighbors above all else and will be dearly missed by the many she touched throughout her life.

A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, November 15, 2021, at Saint Juan Diego Catholic Church, 3200 Cooper Road, Chandler, AZ 85286.

Mother (“Babi”) will be laid to rest with her husband at the Czech National Cemetery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Všude je dobře, doma je to nejlepší.

Everywhere is well, at home it’s best.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rose Mary Smith, please visit our flower store.


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