Marion Ruth Smith, was born January 26, 1926, in Waukesha, WI, to Bernard and Emma Kreidler 4th of 7 children. She attended St. Joseph Catholic grade school, graduated from Waukesha High School and received her teaching degree from Union Grove Normal school. Marion taught in one room country schools in Waukesha County, Pumpkin Hollows being one in the 1940s and later in life did substituting at different schools throughout Texas and a substitute teacher for the Phoenix Union High School system. She also taught CCD at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School in Phx.
She married the love of her life, Billy Gene Smith on June 22, 1947. They had three children; Mark, Mary, and Martha. Marion and Bill lived in Waukesha, WI, moved to New Home, Texas, where she helped her husband tend the cotton farms with her in-laws Wayman and Alice Smith. They also grew peanuts in Seagraves, TX. Next, they moved to Phoenix, Arizona.
Marion was an active woman who loved to talk, a gift from God. She belonged to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church where she enjoyed singing in the choir, was a wedding coordinator, and served on many committees for the parish. Marion was involved in Phoenix politics. She ran for State Representative one time and lost against the incumbent by only 100 votes. She never ran again but she and husband, Bill, enjoyed doing it. Her motto was “Tell the Truth Vote for Marion Ruth”.
She continued to be active in the Republican party. She and Bill were asked at one time if their home could be used as a voting station, which it was. In the 1970’s Marion also did a Dydee Wash commercial and was an instructor for expectant mothers. She never hesitated to help the poor. She once invited a street lady into their home to take a shower, clothed and fed her. Bill and Marion started a church in Seagraves, Texas – St. Paul’s Catholic Church which is still active today. Together they also installed stain glass windows at St. Williams Church in Wilson, TX. They had a special Mass and dinner for the blessing of the windows, Bishop of Lubbock Most Rev. Placido Rodriguez, CMF, officiated the celebration.
Anybody that knows Marion knows that she was a phenomenal bridge player and knew all the tricks. She also loved her Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and was an avid crossword solver in pen! Her favorite subjects are Religion, Politics, Business, and Debates.
Marion is survived by her two daughters; Mary Elliott (Lee), of Surprise, AZ, Martha Smith (Chuck Vanderhei), of Waukesha, WI, two sisters; Bernadine Poppie of Waukesha, WI, Catherine Gilane (Jim), of Keshena, WI, brother-in-law; Don Smith of New Home, TX, grandchildren; Chris Smith, Jeremy Smith (Adreanne), Cody Smith (Ami), Justin Smith (Jamie), Toni Short (Alex), Daniel Krug (Ruby), Robert Elliott, and 11 great grandchildren. Marion is also survived by many friends, relatives, and especially her very good friends at the Crosier community. Marion was preceded in death by her husband Bill, her son Mark, two brothers Larry and Fritz, two sisters Emma and Lorraine, and sisters-in-laws and brothers-in-laws.
On Monday, June 26, 2023, a visitation will be held from 9-10AM, rosary at 10AM, with Mass to begin at 10:30AM, at Crosier Village Catholic Church, 717 E. Southern Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85040. Interment to follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, in Phoenix. Donations can be made to Crosiers Fathers and Brothers at
. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com