Beverly Jean Smith, age 77, formerly of Ogden, Iowa, passed away after a 13-year battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. She finally had enough of the confusion and pain and entered eternal life on November 21, 2023.
Beverly was born January 7, 1946, in Salina, Kansas to James B. Shute and M. Odessa Shute (Southworth). She was the youngest of four children, Jessie, Margaret, David, and Beverly. She grew up poor in a dirt floor farmhouse with no running water in Brookfield, Kansas but with an abundance of love. She loved animals. She would ride horses for most of the hot summer days. She and her sisters Margaret and Jessie would play house and school inside the grain bins when they were not filled with wheat. Margaret and Beverly would dress up their baby kittens in doll clothes and play for hours. She graduated from Brookfield High School in 1964 and was the only girl in the class of seven students.
In March of 1965, she gave the gift of her first-born daughter Gina to a childless couple. She knew she would not be able give her daughter the life she deserved being as Beverly was unwed. Later in life, Beverly was reunited with her daughter and that was one of the happiest days of her life even if was only for eight years before Gina’s passing.
After graduation, she attended Brown Mac Business College and worked at Skelley Truckstop as a server. This is where she met the love of her life, William “Bill” Smith, who was an over-the-road truck driver. The two dated for about eight weeks when Bill proposed. Beverly hopped on a New Year's Eve bus to Chicago, and they were married on January 15, 1966. The two of them had a large family of five children, Allen, Diana, Julie, Billi, and Gib. Together she and Bill worked hard and made sacrifices for their family. Beverly’s children always came first in her life, no matter what. She had three shirts and two pair of pants for several years, but made sure her children were fed, clean, and dressed well. They played sports, took dancing lessons, and anything they wanted she made sure it was provided. Being able to take care of her family was her proudest accomplishment of her life. Beverly and Bill later divorced but remained companions who traveled together, loving each other even though they didn’t live together.
Beverly worked many jobs during her lifetime. Most years she worked two jobs and long hours. She worked at Iowa State University as a custodian for retiring in 2005. She loved working in the dormitory's halls, especially the boys' halls. She would bring them homemade cookies, cinnamon rolls, and other goodies. They loved the way she took care of them and always loved it when she cleaned their floor. Beverly had a knack for cleaning. It is said that you could eat off her floors and drink from the toilet. She had a 20-year refrigerator and stove that looked like it just came off the showroom floor. In her home there was never a dirty dish left in the sink or drainer. The laundry was always folded and put away before she went to bed. She expected her children to follow the same rules and ran a tight ship. Sometimes her children would test her boundaries and the result was always that Beverly won.
Beverly was a strong, independent woman who always honestly and candidly spoke her mind. She fiercely loved and fought for her family throughout her life. When Beverly was diagnosed with the “Disease from Hell” Alzheimer’s thirteen years ago, she decided to go live with her daughter Diana in Enid, Oklahoma to fight that battle, too. Her family is proud of her willpower and courage.
Beverly will be remembered by her selfless and caring spirit along with ability to clean. Her family is sure that Beverly has Heaven sparkling clean and in pristine condition.
Beverly is reunited with William “Bill” Smith, her daughter Gina Best, sons Allen Smith and William “Gib” Smith, three granddaughters, her parents James and Odessa, and her siblings David and Jessie.
Beverly is survived by three daughters: Diana (James) Smith-Webb, Julie (Thomas) Smith-Diggs of Enid, Oklahoma, and Billi Smith of Grand Junction, Iowa; grandchildren: Bridget (Nick) Best of Iola, Kansas; Brittany (Mark) Swank of Pittsburg, Kansas; Alex (Libby) Treft of Grand Junction, Iowa; William (Michaela) Weiss of Enid, Oklahoma; Samantha (Isidro) Smith-Gracia of Des Moines, Iowa; Schuyler (Tama) Nail of Watertown, New York; Sealeana (Taylor) Smith of Scranton, Iowa; Spencer Kirk, Slater Kirk, and Scott O’Neal of Grand Junction, Iowa; and 25 great-grandchildren, two great-great children and one sister, Margaret Shamburg of Salina, Kansas.