Juanita "Nita" Marie Smith, 84, of Elkhart, passed away Thursday, September 9, 2021 at Goshen Hospital.
Nita was born on September 11, 1936 in Normal, Illinois to the late Clarence and Lucille (Ogden) Hany. She married Harold Richard Smith on June 30, 1955. He preceded her in death on March 9, 1977.
Nita is also preceded in death by her son-in-law, Dan Franklin and an infant grandson, Rusty Steven Smith. Nita is survived by her children: Steve (Leslee) Smith, Randy (Kathleen Szymczak Lindsay) Smith and Kathy Franklin. Two brothers: Gene (Carol) Hany and Eldon (Cindy) Hany. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren as well as many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Nita was a member of New Hope United Methodist Church in Elkhart for many years. She was very involved in the church, serving as a part of the hospitality team and helping with music for services. Nita was an avid sports fan, including her beloved Chicago baseball teams and any team from Notre Dame or IU. She was a season ticket holder for the Notre Dame Women's Basketball team for many years and very much enjoyed trips to watch them play. She especially loved to attend her children and grandchildren's sporting events serving as team mom, coach and even score keeper. Nita also served on the Catherine Wolf Scholarship committee, recognizing outstanding female athletes from Elkhart High Schools. Her love and support touched many lives.
A visitation for Nita will be held Tuesday, September 14, 2021 from 6pm-8pm at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home in Elkhart. A funeral service will be held at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 11 am with an hour of visitation prior to the service. Burial will follow at Prairie Street Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in memory of Nita may be made to the Wellfield Botanic Gardens, where Nita was a member, 1101 North Main Street, Elkhart, Indiana 46514.
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