Lucille Smith was peacefully called home Saturday, January 6, 2007. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Westover Funeral Chapel, with burial to follow at the Masonic Cemetery. Visitation begins 4 p.m. Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 at Iles Funeral Homes-Westover Chapel where the family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m.
Lucille was born in Olney, Texas, on July 31, 1919. While working at Consolidated Aircraft in San Diego, California, she met and later married D. C. Smith, and together they spent the next 58 years enjoying life hunting, fishing and traveling. They moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 1950 where Lucille became the hands-on vice president of both Smokey Smith Tours and Smokey Smith Enterprises, overseeing many of the promotional aspects associated with the popular Country Music shows booked by the organization throughout the Midwest.
She regularly provided home cooked meals for performers appearing in the Des Moines area, becoming legendary in the entertainment community for her natural ability to fill the seats around the dinner table with smiling faces. Among them was the late entertainer Grandpa Jones, who fondly dubbed her "the biscuit maker," after he became addicted to her special recipe.
Throughout the 1950's and 60's she regularly provided her personal brand of fried chicken, baked beans and other specialties for the artists appearing on the Grand Ole Opry shows at KRNT Theater here. Since there were always two and sometimes even three performances, it was hard for the entertainers to get away for a meal, so Lucille was always appearing backstage with something special for them to eat.
The late Tex Ritter once told her he would appear in Des Moines just to partake of her home-style cooking. She was probably the catalyst for the many outrageous contract riders performers now include demanding special food and beverages while on tour.
Her greatest love was her husband, family and the many varieties of plants and flowers she grew to such awesome perfection that she just naturally became known as "Grandma Flowers."
Lucille was preceded in death by her parents Jess and Birdie Tucker, and her son Leon. She is survived by her husband; daughter, Carol (Terry) Manley of West Des Moines; granddaughters, Diane (Brian) Ahrenkiel Des Moines, Christi (Chris) Power of Van Meter; step-granddaughter, Mindy (Layne) Wardenburg of Urbandale, three great-grandchildren; sisters, Estelline Jones of Marshfield, Missouri, Ophie Anderson of Burleson, Texas, Janell Shackelford of Austin, Texas, three nieces, three nephews and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Central Iowa.
Sponsored by Ancestry