Carol Ann Smith, age 79, of Manitowoc, passed away Monday morning, December 7, 2020 at her residence.

Carol was born on May 15, 1941 in Rice Lake, daughter of Fred and Irene (Olson) Smith. Carol married Keith A. Smith in 1959 in Rice Lake, and after living in several locations in Wisconsin and Illinois the couple later moved to Manitowoc where they have resided since. Carol worked as the Activities Director for the Northridge Nursing Home in Manitowoc for several decades, where she retired from. She was a member of First Lutheran Church of Manitowoc.

Survivors include her husband: Keith Smith of Manitowoc; two sons and daughters-in-law: David and Kim Smith of Shawano, and Dr. Rodney and Linda Smith of Menomonee Falls; three grandchildren: Cheyenne Smith of Milwaukee, Jesse Smith of Colorado Springs, CO, and Heidi Rusboldt of Manitowoc. Carol was one of eleven children born to Fred and Irene, including seven surviving brothers and six sisters-in-law: Dale and Marilyn Smith, Raymond and Judy Smith, Alan and Debbie Smith, Donny and Lois Smith, Brian and Chris Smith, Bruce Smith, Mark and Robin Smith, and Roberta Smith, all of Rice Lake; two surviving sisters: Marilyn Otterholdt of Rhinelander and Janice Elliott of Sandstone, MN; brothers-and-sisters-in-law Chuck and Evelyn Smith of Wedowee, AL, Randy and Vernita Prather and Del Smith of Rice Lake, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends also survive.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents: Fred and Irene Smith; and one brother, Roger Smith, husband to Roberta.

Carol was well-known for her love of family and friends, her sense of humor, her infinite patience and kindness. She was a caretaker at heart, assisting with the care of the elderly even after she retired from Northridge Nursing Home. She was also an obsessive collector of cookbooks, as well as Norman Rockwell decorative plates, vintage tablecloths, knick-knacks and just about anything else that struck her fancy. Carol and her husband Keith loved to spend their time scouring estate and rummage sales, where they would acquire countless objects that Carol would sell at her own annual giant yard sale. It was nearly impossible to convince her to discard anything once she laid her hands on it, unless she could get a nickel or a dime for it. It was said that if you needed something Carol not only likely had it but she probably had several of whatever item you wanted.

She was a passionate wrestling mom, who made sure to root and cheer for her sons at every wrestling match the two participated in. She also made her home into something of a meeting place for the neighborhood kids, who would gather there for picnics, television watching sessions and games. Carol always made sure the kids had something to eat and something to do, even, as one family friend remembered, cleaning fish that the boys brought home from the Manitowoc River.

Carol loved to go camping, braving the wilds of Wisconsin and Canada with Keith and her family. She had a soft spot for animals and helped her sons care for a series of dogs, rabbits, gerbils, snakes, lizards, birds, guinea pigs and practically anything that walked, crawled, flew or swam.

Carol was a loving and thoughtful friend, sister, wife and mother, always with time and a kind word for anyone who needed either. She will be deeply missed and those who survive her passing are grateful for having had her in their lives.

Private family services will take place following cremation.

The Reinbold & Pfeffer Family Funeral Home of Manitowoc is assisting the family with arrangements. Expressions of sympathy may be expressed at www.lakeshorefamilyfuneralhomes.com     

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