January 5, 2018
DAVENPORT — Rita Elizabeth (Lawlor) Smith, a long time resident of the Davenport area, passed away Friday, January 5, 2018, at Clarissa Cook Hospice.
Rita was born on September 17, 1924, in New Liberty, Iowa, to John and Mary Lawlor. She graduated from St. Mathias High School in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1943 and went on to AIC Business School.
Rita married H.P. "Smitty" Smith on June 21, 1947. They had nine wonderful children together, two girls and seven boys. Her nine children thought she was the best mom, and she said it was because she had the best kids. She loved her children dearly but she adored her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rita knew the love and the strength of the family she created. They were at the center of her world and she enjoyed being with her people more than anything.
Rita retired from Mercy Hospital after 25 years in ER Admissions. Her welcoming smile and calm demeanor put patients at ease and she was admired by her coworkers. At 43, Rita got rheumatoid arthritis, although often painful, she never complained and handled every adversity with strength and quiet dignity.
Rita was a light in this world, an inspiration to many and loved by all, she will be greatly missed.
Rita was preceded in death by her husband, H.P. Smith; two brothers, Joe (Pat) Lawlor and Dan (Myrlyn) Lawlor; and her sister Mary Pat Lawlor. She is survived by her brother, John (Darlene) Lawlor; her sister, Katherine Lawlor, BVM; her nine children, Patricia (Gary) Brock, Mark (Libby Honts) Smith, Bridget (Paul) Ferguson, Larry (Sharon) Smith, Paul (Barb) Smith, Jeff (Li Ying) Smith, Matt (Vickie Willis) Smith, Joe, Mike (Mary) Smith; 17 grandchildren; and 19 great grandchildren.
There will be a memorial Mass in Rita's Honor at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 13, 2018, at Our Lady of Lourdes, Bettendorf, Iowa. The family requests that no flowers be sent. Donations to the Sisters of Charity, BVM (1150 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, Iowa 52003) will be gratefully accepted in Rita's name.