Charlotte A. Smith, 89, of Crystal Lake, passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by her children, on March 18, 2020. She was born on August 20, 1930 in Chicago, IL to the late Walter and Anna (nee Kopec) Kruk.
“Mala”, as she was called by family and many friends, met her beloved husband, Oliver J Smith (OJ), while working at a soda fountain on the northwest side of Chicago. They married July 11, 1953 and moved to Champaign, Illinois where OJ finished his studies at the University of Illinois. They lived in Indianapolis, IN and Racine, WI before settling in Crystal Lake, IL in 1960.
Charlotte was a welcoming connector who had a gift for engaging anyone, anywhere, in conversation. She knew how to draw people out, befriend the new person, and with her spiritual gift of hospitality was always entertaining in her home. Charlotte served on many local community clubs & committees over the years and often volunteered as an election judge to inspire her interest in politics. She was a “lunch lady” at Crystal Lake South High School, but by far her fondest memories were selling handbags at the Joseph Spiess Department store in Crystal Lake.
Charlotte’s passions were her family, cooking for a crowd, traveling, Door County vacations, decorating, antiquing, scrapbooking, and writing cards of encouragement & support to all she knew.
Charlotte will be missed by her children, Wendell Smith of Crystal Lake, Rebecca (Richard) Quinn of Crystal Lake, Jessica Smith of Crystal Lake, and Laurissa (Robert) Hellmann of Poplar Grove IL; dear Grandchildren Rachel (Joseph) Storino, Heidi (Andrew) White, Kevin (Lauren) Quinn, Max, Hope, and Jamie Hellmann, fond “granddaughter” Yang Li(Lily) of Chengdu; cherished great-grandchildren Olivia, Quinn, and baby Laurel; and many adored nieces and nephews.
Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters Leona and Romaine, her husband in 1982, and her son, Russell, in 2013.
Burial will be private. After the coronavirus restrictions have lifted, the family will hold a Memorial Celebration for all to attend.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to JourneyCare or Special Olympics.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charlotte Ann (Kruk) Smith, please visit our floral store.
2050 Claire Ct., Glenview IL 60025
The Special Olympics of Illinois
605 E Willow St., Normal IL 61761