St. Marys—LaDorna Rae “Corky” Smith, 90, St. Marys, passed away Friday, September 24, 2021 at the St. Marys Manor.
She was born October 31, 1930, in Lola Township Cherokee County, Kansas to Paul A. and Beulah G. Crane Richards. She was raised in Oswego, and graduated from Oswego High School in 1948. She had lived in the St. Marys community since 1951.
Corky was a member of the St. Marys United Methodist Church where she was very active. She enjoyed helping with the annual Turkey Dinner. Corky and her husband Jim loved to dance, play cards and spend time with their family and friends. You could find them frequently on the dance floor at the Moose Lodge Lounge in Topeka. You might catch them playing a round of golf at the St. Marys course where she was an active member.
Corky loved her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids and was a wonderful mom, grandma, and mentor to them all. She loved to cook and was famous for her delicious meals. The family often gathered at her home, and guests were always welcomed. She was very talented and crafty, as is witnessed by the comforter size afghans she crocheted for nearly all of her grandkids and gorgeous ceramic Christmas trees she made and painted for each child’s family. She loved to swim, and her grandchildren remember her teaching them to swim. Flower and vegetable gardening were two of her favorite pastimes. When the clubhouse was built at the St. Marys Golf Course, she and other volunteers designed and planted the landscaping. She served as a Girl Scout Leader for the St. Marys’ troop when her girls were involved.
Corky was a nickname given to her as a child, and it fit her perfectly. She loved to have fun, be ornery and make people laugh. She was always full of advice for anyone that would listen. It would be hard to find a person she knew that didn’t have a story or two to tell about their relationship with her.
She married James W. Smith on June 12, 1949, at Oswego. He preceded her in death on June 2, 2004; she was also preceded by her parents, a sister, Paula Middelton, and a son Gary Smith on October 31, 2012.
Survivors include her son, Michael Smith (Sherry), St. Marys, three daughters. Linda K. Dohrman (Rick), Delia, Vicki S. Lightfoot, (Bobby), Blaine, and Donna L. Simecka (Alan), St. Marys; a daughter-in-law, Donna Smith, Maple Hill; her brother, J.A. Richards, Des Moines, IA; her sister, Winnie Ellis, Maple Hill; 23 grandchildren, and 39 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 10:00 A.M. Friday, October 1, 2021, at the St. Marys United Methodist Church, followed by graveside services at 3:30 P.M.at the Oswego Cemetery, Oswego, Kansas. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 P.M. Thursday, September 30, 2021, at Piper Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Marys United Methodist Church and sent in care of the funeral home. To leave online condolences, go to www.piperfuneralhome.com.