Welcome to the memorial page for

Ruth (Arnstrom) Smith

April 27, 1926 ~ July 28, 2015 (age 89)

Ruth Smith

Age 89  of Wilmington, passed away Tuesday evening, July 28, 2015, at Miller Center in Kankakee, after a long illness from Parkinson's disease.

Mary Ruth was born on April 27, 1926 in Symerton, Illinois to Gotfried and Eleanor (Kirk) Arnstrom, the fifth of six children. Her childhood home was on a farm in what eventually became the Joliet Arsenal north of Wilmington. The family moved to a farm near Peotone when the government purchased their land to build the Arsenal. Ruth graduated from Joliet Township High School and then moved to Chicago to work in an insurance office. She married Raymond A. Smith of Wilmington on March 27, 1949 and made Wilmington her home for the next 58 years. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, serving as an Elder and “funeral dinner lady”; belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star, and volunteered at Kuzma Care Cottage. She was also very active in helping Ray plan the annual reunion of the 754th Field Artillery Battalion. Ruth moved to Butterfield Court Assisted Living in Kankakee in 2007. She very much enjoyed living there, telling everyone “I kind of like being waited on!” and making new friends. She was especially close to her table partner Elma Tobey. When Parkinson’s Disease affected her ability to care for herself, Ruth then moved to Miller Center in December 2010. The staff there enjoyed her positive attitude and witty comments.

Ruth is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Gary Dahn of Bonfield; her grand-daughter Michelle (Troy) Harms of Pontiac; grandson Jason Dahn of Bonfield and great-grandson Brayden Dahn of Momence. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Particularly close to Ruth are Judy (Larry) McCarty, Alan (Kathy) Arnstrom; Mary Ann (Ed) Cooper; and Karen (Lee) Blanchette. Judy, Alan, Mary Ann and Karen all lost their mothers many years ago and considered Ruth to be their “adopted” mother.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; siblings Thomas (Margaret) , Eugene (Mae), Paul (Joyce), Elizabeth (Fred) Blatt and Margaret (Ed) Petersen; brother-in-law Herman Smith, Jr. and sister-in-law Rina Smith (Charles) Ernst; niece Cheryl Blatt Zdralevich and nephew James Raymond Smith. Her husband, Ray, died April 9, 2006.

Ruth will be remembered as a kind person always ready to bring food for a funeral dinner or to the house when there was a death, frequently sending cards to friends if they were ill or just having a difficult time, and always ready to listen. She will also be remembered as someone who was able to “roll with the punches” and adapt when she needed to. Lastly, Ruth loved visiting with friends and relatives and had a great sense of humor. 

Visitation and video tribute will be held on Thursday, July 30, 2015 between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road in Wilmington. Funeral services will follow Friday morning, July 31st at 10:00 a.m. in the funeral home with Pastor Barbara Lohrbach officiating.

Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Wilmington, where Ruth will be laid to rest with her late husband Ray.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made as gifts in Ruth’s memory to The Miller Center Activity Fund or the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Research Foundation.

Family and friends may sign the guest book or visit Ruth's memorial page by logging onto: www.BaskervilleFuneral.com

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington. (815-476-2181).

 Service Information

July 30, 2015

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes
700 East Kahler Road
Wilmington, IL 60481

Funeral Service
July 31, 2015

10:00 AM
Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes
700 East Kahler Road
Wilmington, IL 60481

Interment following funeral service
July 31, 2015

Oakwood Cemetery - Wilmington
700 Williams Street
Wilmington, IL 60481

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