Martha Ann Mealer Smith, age 89 of Danville, joined her beloved husband in Heaven on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. Martha was born April 22, 1932 in Danville, the daughter of Homer Eugene and Bessie Ola Edwards Mealer. She was a lifelong resident of Danville. She married the love of her life Donald Lee Smith on October 26, 1968 at Central Christian Church; he preceded her in passing on September 17, 2008.
She is survived by her daughters, Cynthia Ann Phillips (Robert) Minor and Kimberly Ann Smith (Ted) Silvey. She is also survived by grandsons and their spouses: Robert Minor III, (and his wife Jessica); Marc Minor, (and his wife Medina); Matthew Minor, (and his wife Molly). Surviving granddaughters are Maria Ann Minor Rus, (and her husband Alex); and Rachel Nicole Silvey. Great grandchildren include: Jonah Minor, Eli Minor, Mae Minor, Zoe Minor, Noah Minor, Blaise Minor, Aria Minor, Brielle Minor and Emilia Rus. She leaves behind nieces Pamela Mealer (Fred) Parker, Kathleen Hunt (Steve) Arthur, and Donna Butler (Paul) Rogers. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Donald, great-grandchild Emmarie N. Minor, sisters Bette Ruth Mealer (Andrew) Hunt and Nancy Mealer (Robert) Butler, a brother, Farrell Eugene Mealer and two nephews Farrell E. Mealer Jr, and Robert Butler.
Martha attended Oaklawn, Cannon, and Lincoln Grade School, where she was a member of the Girl’s City Champion Basketball Team. She graduated from Danville High School, with the class of 1950, where she continued to chair and work on all of the class reunions. She was nicknamed, “Clipboard Martha” because she was always organizing some charity activity for a city organization.
Throughout her life, Martha was employed in the offices at Sears Roebuck, Illinois Power, General Electric, and as assistant marketing director for Liberty Village. She served as state director for Miss National Teenager Scholarship Pageant for Illinois and Wisconsin for fourteen years. She was a former director of Vermilion County Fair Pageant training girls for competition. She judged many local, state, and national pageants. She was named Ms. Illinois Senior America in 1997 and was 5th Runner Up for the National Senior America Pageant 1997.
She was a member of St. James United Methodist Church where she served on numerous committees for the United Methodist Women, the 3M Sunday School Class, and the Christian Women’s Club. She loved to sew and work for the annual church fundraiser with all her handmade items. Her faith led her to travel to Israel where she was baptized in the River Jordan alongside her husband, Donald.
She was active in many civic organizations: she served on the Salvation Army Auxiliary Board where she was president for three years; she developed and chaired the Kettle Golf Tournament for the Auxiliary and the Elks Golf Tournament. She chaired the Toys for Tots Program for over ten years, served on the former USMC Hospital Auxiliary Board, and was a lifetime member and Past President of the Danville Symphony Orchestra. She was an active member of the Danville Elks where she was named District Elk Lady of the Year in 2004 as well as the Lady of the Year for State of IL Elks in 2004. She was active in the past with Red Mask Players and was former President of the Red Mask Women’s Guild. She was a member of the Danville Boat Club (since 1982), the Danville Garden Club, and the Danville Symphony.
She loved to sew, garden, golf, and do in-depth research of her family genealogy. Martha was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She will be greatly missed by all who were blessed to have her in their lives.
A Celebration of Martha’s Life will be at 11am on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at St. James United Methodist Church, 504 N. Vermilion in Danville, with Randall Robinson officiating. Visitation will be the night prior, Wednesday, June 9, 2021 from 4-6pm at Kruger Coan Pape Funeral Home, 10 E. Williams Street in Danville. Entombment at Sunset Mausoleum with her beloved Donald will follow services. Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to St. James Church or Danville High School Alumni Foundation. Memories and messages for the family may be left on our website at www.KrugerCoanPape.com, or on the Kruger-Coan-Pape Funeral Home Facebook page.
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