Ilene Smith Obituary

Ilene Norma Smith
Ilene Smith
Ilene Norma Smith

January 17, 1936 - September 3, 2019
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Ilene Norma Smith returned to her heavenly Father on September 3, 2019. She was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 17, 1936, to Ralph and Elsie (Langston) Porter. She lived in Des Moines, Iowa, where she worked at Sears in the cashier’s office and retired in 2000. She worked as a secretary for the Department of Corrections until retirement in 2006.

Ilene is greatly missed by her family: her daughter, Brenda (Mark) Vannausdle and their children, Tanya, Abby (Nick) Giampolo, Patrick (Andi) Fagen, Corey (Megan) and Brett; her son, Stephen (Lisa) and their children, Sarah and Joshua; her son, Brian and his son, Noah Feldman; her brother, Gary (Regina) Porter; her eight great grandchildren and her nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Gloria Jean.

Mom fondly remembered her childhood in western Nebraska; her cousins meant the world to her. She enjoyed solving jigsaw puzzles and making quilts, especially for her grandchildren. Mom was a wonderful seamstress. She lovingly made Brenda’s clothing, prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, Barbie and doll clothing, and clothes for Brenda’s friends. Mom made sure that Brian had a hearing aid battery holder to match his clothes. She would take Brian to Little League baseball games and interpreted for him. She enjoyed taking Brian to Boy Scouts, and watching him play baseball and football. She loved all sorts of animals, especially her latest cats, Will and Grace. She is joined in heaven with some wonderful fur babies, Penny Candy, Snowball, Merry, Happy, Hawkeye, Bunny and Grace. She is so happy to be reunited with her sister who she loved so much, Gloria Jean.

Mom enjoyed lunches with the Polk County Conservation O.W.L.S. (Older, Wiser & Livelier Seniors) group, her Sears alumni, and her friends from the Department of Corrections. She enjoyed the O.W.L.S. senior trips around the Midwest. She always spoke fondly of her cruise to Alaska with Gary and Regina, and her visits to Germany and Japan to see Steve, Lisa, Sarah and Joshua. She enjoyed her trip to Rochester, New York for Brian’s graduation at National Technical Institute for the Deaf and trip to Niagara Falls.

Her home meant the world to her. Mom enjoyed working in her yard. She loved the flowers, plants, and the wildlife that would visit her back yard. Mom enjoyed birds and kept them fed and bathed with bird houses and bird baths.
Mom loved to argue politics with Steve and Mark. She never hesitated to let you know her opinion!

A gathering to celebrate Ilene’s life will be held Saturday, September 14 from 1:00-3:00 pm at Iles Westover Chapel. Refreshments will be provided. Mom generously supported a wide variety of organizations. Some of her favorites were the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Iowa Public TV, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and any fundraiser her grand/great-grandchildren participated in. Memorial gifts may also be made to the EveryStep Kavanagh House where she received wonderful hospice care.






Celebration of Life
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, September 14, 2019
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


Animal Rescue League Of Iowa
5452 NE 22nd Street
Des Moines, IA 50313
EveryStep Hospice Kavanagh House
900 - 56th Street
Des Moines, IA usa 50312