January 8, 2021

Sharon Lee Smith

April12, 1938 – January 6, 2021

Sharon Lee Smith, died Wednesday, January 6, 2021.  Sharon was born April 12, 1938 to Harry and Leta Ruth (Craven) White.  Ruth, as her mother was known, was shopping in Atlantic less than a year later, collapsed and died of peritonitis, March 6, 1939.  Sharon’s father could not care for infant Sharon, so she was raised by her grandparents until she entered elementary school.  Harry remarried in 1941 to Lois Marie Query.  Sharon was raised by Lois, her stepmother from the age of 4 on.  Growing up in Cumberland Iowa was a quite simple life.  The White’s had a garage in town that was the biggest business in Cumberland.

 Sharon relates that at the age of twelve she attended a meeting led by a traveling evangelist at her family’s church, First Baptist church in Cumberland. She prayed to receive Christ as her Savior at this meeting.   

Sharon’s high school activities included: band, playing flute, choir, and playing basketball.  Sharon and Cleo Smith began dating in high school.  They were married during her senior year of Omaha Methodist nursing school, on June 3, 1958. Two children expanded the family with Todd being born in 1960, followed by Jennifer in 1964.

Sharon worked in the nursing field for several years in Omaha and after moving to Lincoln, continued to work in nursing.  Trying something new, she left nursing and began selling real estate.  During those five years, she had a good year selling one million dollars in real estate.  She continued to sell real estate for a few more years after Cleo relocated the family to Columbia, MO.  A few years past and once again the family moved to Kansas City, MO.  Sharon returned to the nursing field once again, working at St. Luke’s Med center.  Her first week in the OR was the week of the balcony collapse at the Hyatt Regency. After 20 years working at St. Luke’s, Sharon retired from nursing.  Her interest shifted to volunteer work at KC Zoo. She became part of the docent program there and enjoyed sharing knowledge about the animals with the public.  She really enjoyed her time at the zoo.  Sharon attained emeritus status within the docents after spending 20 years of volunteering.

Sharon was a member of Baptist churches in Cumberland and KC, and Indian Hills community church in Lincoln. 

Three years after the death of husband Cleo, Sharon moved back to Lincoln and lived at Legacy Estates. Her final year was spent at Country House memory unit. These facilities provided excellent care and she really enjoyed their staff. 

Sharon was preceded in death by her husband, Cleo; brother James White and her parents Harry, Leta Ruth and Lois.  Sharon’s children are Todd Smith and Jennifer Riggs Sinnett. She is survived by her sister, Linda (White) McMeen. Sharon has 4 grandchildren: Jesse Smith and wife Erin, Micaela (Smith) Duval husband Jon, Gregory Smith and wife Maddie, and Connor Riggs.  Sharon could field a baseball team with her number of great-grandchildren, nine, all under the age of 11.

Graveside service was held for Sharon, Saturday the 9th, with immediate family present.  Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation, may be sent to Wyuka, 3600 O St.


  1. We will miss Sharon at holiday meals and family celebrations.
    With sympathy,
    Kurt and Molly Sinnett and family

  2. What a joy to have known your mom. I loved her smile! It was wonderful to read more about her life!
    We care for you all!

  3. Sympathy to the family, and may God bless.
    Star Stuhr


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