ROCKFORD—Betty Ruth Smith, 90, of Rockford, died peacefully Friday, April 9, 2021, holding her daughter Penelope's hand. Betty had the abilities to fulfill many roles during her lifetime but none more important to her than those of daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. She was the sweetest, most sincere person to all.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 412 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61103. See http://www.legacy.com.
Betty was born Dec. 12, 1930. She lived her life in Rockford and retired to Cape Coral, Fla., in 1995, moved to Fort Myers in 2004, and came back north to Algonquin in 2020. Betty graduated from Rockford West High School, attended the University of Illinois, and was a proud member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Betty married Roger A. Smith in 1951 at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Rockford and were happily married 66 years until his passing in 2017. Their beautiful children are Roger Smith Jr. (Linda), Scott Smith (Helen), Peter Smith (Laura) and Penelope Smith (Deborah). They had 12 grandchildren and were also blessed with 17 great-grandchildren.
Betty was a selfless servant leader in her community as a member of the Junior League of Rockford, a member of the Rockford Memorial Hospital Committee for Today, and Tomorrow, President of the Board of Directors of Rockford Day Nursery. She was a dedicated mother and lead numerous projects and events in the schools where her children attended, such as Room Mother, Book Fairs, Den Mother, and May festivals.
Betty was always a people person, and her vocations embraced her gregarious style as an Elementary School Learning Center Director, Librarian, and Realtor. She was a former member of the Rockford Country Club and the Cape Coral Golf and Tennis Country Club. Raised as an Episcopalian she enjoyed the early service in the front row and attended services throughout her life. Betty enjoyed entertaining and hosting parties to gather with her friends. She was an avid bridge player and won many tournaments with her husband as an excellent bidding partner. She enjoyed an active life of swimming, tennis, and golfing, with her proudest moment being a hole-in-one! We will miss her subtle wit and welcoming smile.
Betty was predeceased by her spouse, Roger A. Smith; her father, Winston E. Burrows; her mother, Hope Burrows; her brother, Winston Burrows Jr.; and her sister, Barbara Burrows.
Betty leaves behind her sons, Roger Jr. (Linda) of Palm Desert, Calif., Scott (Helen) of Huntley, IL, Peter (Laura) of Mount Carroll; daughter, Penelope (Deb) of Arlington, Va.; grandchildren, Elizabeth (Mike), Nay, Jennifer (Mike) Rairdon, Christine (Jason), Simnick, Martha (Steve) Greeley, Molly (Adam) McDevitt, Nicholas (Danielle) Smith, Kristin Smith, Monica Smith, Rachel Levenberry, Devan Smith-Brown; step-granddaughters, Jennifer (Armen) Gasparian and Melisa Kreamer Guggenmos; and great-grandchildren, Amanda, Megan, Molly, Lindsay, Benjamin, Jacob, Hannah, Josuha, Abigail, Elijah, Evan, Lilly, Isla, Bram, Brooks, and Olivia. Betty also leaves behind several nieces and nephews.