RIVERVALE — Willma Rose Smith, 98, Rivervale, passed away at 10:28 p.m. Tuesday, December 22, 2009, at Medco Health and Rehabilitation Center in French Lick.
Born November 20, 1911, in Tunnelton, she was the daughter of William T. and Rosa B. (Turley) Smith.
She graduated from Bedford High School with the class of 1930. Willma Rose entered nurses training at Indiana University medical Center in 1934. She was employed as a supervisor at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, an honorary fraternity for nurses while attending Indiana University. Willma Rose served with the 91st General Hospital Army Nurse Corps in the Chief Nurses Office while stationed in England, Belgium, and France. She attained the rank of Captain and was discharged February 17, 1946, at the end of World War II.
After her military service she returned to Indiana University where she earned B.S. and M. S. degrees in Nursing Education and Public Health. Willma Rose served two years as the Public health Nurse in Lawrence County and two years in Jackson County. She retired as Director of Health Services from Seymour Community Schools where she was employed from 1953-1977. She was a member of District 13 of the Indiana State Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association.
She continued as an active member of Lawrenceport United Methodist Church, Phi Beta Psi sorority, Fleur-de-Lis, John Wallace Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Historical and Genealogical Societies of Lawrence County, Retired Teachers Association, A.A.U.W., Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Honorary Society, and Farm Bureau.
She raised cattle on the family farm and was a member of the Jacob Finger United Methodist Church.
Dottie Jane Compton, Lafayette
Charles C. L. Smith, French Lick
five nieces and three nephews
Her parents; brother, Robert Smith; and sisters, Mary Elizabeth Smith and Virginia Rose Zilaitis, preceded her in death.
A private graveside service will be at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 27, at Mitchell Cemetery with Rev. Eric Kersey officiating. Military honors will be accorded by Cecil C. Martin American Legion Post No. 250 and Marvin R. Davis Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9107.
A memorial service will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 23, 2010, in the Jacob Finger United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends at a reception following the service.
Jacob Finger United Methodist Church
Veterans Organization of your choice
Susan G. Komen for the Cure