Mable Margaret Smith

Mable Margaret Smith, 92, of Jonesboro, died at 4:17 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Marion VA Medical Center.

She was born on Dec. 28, 1923, in Memphis, Tenn., the daughter of Edward and Letha Mettille Kelly Hellengreen.

She married Leroy Smith on Feb. 16, 1957, in Dixon.

She is survived by her children, Bonnie (Tom) Riston of Tamms, Tom (Angie) Smith of Jonesboro, Micki Smith of Grand Chain and Staci (John) Dunn of Cobden; seven grandchildren, Danni Riston of Blytheville, Ark., Tyler Duarte of San Antonio, Texas, Tyler (Sissy) Townley of Anna, Meghan Smith of Jonesboro, Brandon Smith of Grand Chain, Bailee Smith of Grand Chain and Marlee Smith of Jonesboro; a great-grandchild, Danny Lynn Riston of Blytheville, Ark.; one brother, Edmond Hellengreen of Ottawa; all her special friends at Cache Valley Assisted Living in Ullin; other relatives and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leroy Smith; one brother, Arthur Hellengreen; and one granddaughter, Melody Smith.

She served in the military WAC (Women's Army Corps) in World War II. She was one of the first women to serve in the ranks of the U.S. Army, where she was a truck driver and mechanic.

In the early 1970s she owned and operated the Bald Knob Cafe in Alto Pass. She worked as a tech at the Manteno State hospital, and at the Anna State Hospital as a housekeeper.

After raising her children, she went back to work in the early 1990s and worked for the Sunshine Inn kitchen and delivered in the Meals on Wheels program. She also worked for Addus Healthcare and Shawnee Development Council as a home caregiver. She always joked about how most of her clients she cared for were much younger than herself. Mable was a feisty and hardworking lady and worked right up until she was in her 80s.

Funeral services for Mrs. Smith were at 1 p.m. Friday, May 20, at Rendleman & Hileman Funeral Home in Jonesboro, with Clark Short officiating. Interment was in the Jonesboro Cemetery.

Graveside military rites were conducted by Carroll P. Foster Post No. 3455 of the VFW in Anna and the Illinois Army National Guard military honors team of Marion.

Memorials can be made to the Illinois Veterans Home activity fund.

To leave online condolences for the family, visit

Rendleman & Hileman Funeral Home in Jonesboro was in charge of arrangements.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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