Girtha “Ree” Smith was born to Antonio Derr and Girtha Pearl Derr on September 18, 1951. She was always known as the life of the party. She exuded joy wherever she went, and that joy lit up a room. She was caring, kind and without a doubt the most giving individual on the planet. In Girtha’s presence, no one wanted for anything.
She medically retired from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois in 1996. However, she never let her disability stop her. She may have moved slower, but she still moved and did it with grace and a smile.
After losing her beloved husband Lloyd in January 2020, Girtha moved into Clarendale of Mokena, a senior facility, where for the next two years she thrived. Once the Covid restrictions were lifted, she was rarely seen in her apartment. There was always somewhere to be or something to do and she took every opportunity to enjoy life. Whenever her family visited her at Clarendale, we knew she loved her apartment, and she was embraced by the community.
Girtha was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd J. Smith, Jr.; her father, Antonio M. Derr; her mother, Girtha Pearl (nee Reed) Derr; sister, Willie Pearl (Dumas) Juett; and brother, Woody James Dumas.
She passed away on Sunday, June 19, 2022 in Mokena, Illinois.
She is survived by her son, Jason Derr Smith (Rachelle Saint-Aubin) of Maricopa, AZ; beloved grandson, Raiden J. Smith, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, friends and acquaintances.
She was the epitome of living life to the fullest and we are all better for having had her in our lives. May she forever rest in peace.
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