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Alice Ruth Smith

May 27, 1930 ~ August 26, 2022 (age 92)

Obituary

Alice Ruth Smith, 92, of Asheville, NC, passed away on August 26, 2022.   She was born on May 27, 1930 in Clinton, IL to the late Maurice and Laura Langellier. She was a joyful and loving person who cherished helping others. As a stay-at-home mother and homemaker, Alice delighted in her husband and children.  She attended Milliken University, studying a business curriculum, but left school to work in order to support her future husband’s education. During her husband’s college years, Alice typed and proofed his papers.  She continued to support Bob with his many martial arts books, journal articles, interviews, and Letters to the Editor until their retirement.  A lifelong volunteer, she supported schools and orphanages in Taiwan, taught conversational English and Sunday School, and continued her church and mission activities in Bethesda, MD where the Smith family made their home for 27 years. 

Alice was a great mom and a natural handyman around the house.  She supported her children’s activities, taught all four to drive, and provided the same patient service to many other neighborhood kids as well. She was spontaneous, yet practical and thrifty.  A dog lover her entire life, Alice enjoyed raising Australian Terriers.  She was passionate about civil rights and anti-war efforts, advocating for justice and participating in peaceful demonstrations in the DC area in the 1960s and 1970s. After years of administratively supporting Bob’s popular Tai Chi classes, she herself became an expert and taught the beginners’ classes, allowing Bob to focus on instructing the senior students.  She and Bob inspired a legacy of students that follow in their footsteps and continue to teach Tai Chi.

In their later years, Alice and Bob retired to Flat Rock, NC where she became a Master Gardener and enjoyed gardening full-time.  They enjoyed travelling to visit family. Alice became a hospice advocate and volunteered at the Elizabeth House.  A life-long dancer, Alice took line and round dancing lessons and performed at special events.  After her husband’s retirement, the Smiths downsized and moved to Asheville, where they enjoyed their final years. 

Alice was preceded in death by her husband of sixty years, Robert W. Smith; her parents, and her brother, Donald Langellier.  She is survived by her children:  Sue Broadhurst (Don), David Smith (Marolyn); Anne Smith, and Chris Cutting (Paul); six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Per her wishes, Alice’s body has been donated to Wake Forest School of Medicine.  A Celebration of Life gathering will be held Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 3:30 pm, in the WNC Baptist Home Chapel, 213 Richmond Hill Road, Asheville, NC 28806.   Masks are required inside the Baptist Home.  The family would like to thank Four Seasons Hospice and the WNC Baptist Home for their kindness and support during the last few months.  In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Four Seasons Hospice, Hendersonville, NC; Alzheimers Association, 4600 Park Road, Suite 250, Charlotte, NC 28209; or an animal rescue group of your choice. 

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