Betty J. Smith, 86, Evansville

Betty J. Smith, 86, of Evansville, formerly of Pardeeville and Madison, passed away peacefully at home Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017.

She was born July 4, 1931 (our little firecracker), in Columbia County, the daughter of Lester Rhode and Mildred (Wendlick) Rhode. Betty married Allen Smith on July 3, 1951, in Norfolk, Virginia. Betty was a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She was kind and compassionate to all. Betty worked as a beautician for several years with her own beauty business. After that she worked for the State of Wisconsin until her retirement. Betty and Allen had two children, Virginia and Greg.

Betty is survived by her daughter, Virginia (Wade) Newkirk and their children, Erika (Matt) Bailey, Elissa (Pablo) Miranda, and a stepdaughter, Christine (Jason) Newkirk; her son, Greg (Shery) Smith and their children, Shawna (Chad Raymor) Parker, Nate (Stephanie) Smith, Joe Smith and Matt (Rose) Smith. Betty is further survived by great-grandchildren, Cassidy and Krista Parker of Wisconsin, Brooke and Ashley Bailey of Colorado, Sebastian and Gabriel Miranda of Colorado, and Ozzie Smith of Edgerton; her brother, Earl (Carol) Rhode; her nephews, Randall and Timothy Rhode and their families; her niece, Sandy Smith and her family; and also her nephews, Bruce, Roger and Wayne Smith and their families.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Allen; and by a brother, Merwin Rhode.

A Celebration of Betty’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 505 E. Lafollette St., Pardeeville, with the Rev. William Runke presiding. Inurnment will follow in Pardeeville Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the services at the church.

Memorials may be made to Agrace HospiceCare, visit or call 608-327-7180; St. John’s Lutheran Church of Pardeeville where she was a member; or to First Lutheran Church of Stoughton where she visited frequently. A special thanks to the Agrace HospiceCare “Silver Team” of Janesville, Dr. Fohl and staffs at SSM Dean Evansville Clinic, St. John’s Lutheran Church of Pardeeville, and the First Lutheran Church of Stoughton for all the support and care they gave Betty. Also, a thank you to Rhode Law Office in Portage and Grasse Funeral Home for assisting the family. Online condolences may be made at