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Josephine “Jo” M. Smith, 81

Josephine “Jo” M. Smith, age 81, loving wife and mother of five children, passed away on Thursday Aug. 12, 2021, at home surrounded by family. Josephine was born on Sept. 1, 1939, in McHenry, Ill., the daughter of Joseph and Eleanor (née Daly) Freund. On May 9, 1959, she married her loving friend and partner, Thomas E Smith, at St. Patrick’s church in McHenry. They raised two daughters, Kimberly and Pamela, and three sons, Michael, Patrick, and Philip. 

Jo was owner and operator of Smith’s Children’s Shop in Woodstock for 37 years and opened a second store in McHenry for nine years. During this time, she was active in the retail communities of both Woodstock and McHenry. Jo truly loved the children’s fashion world, both the selection of the styles on buying trips and the interaction with her customers and employees. Upon retirement from retail, she was bookkeeper for Computer Solutions Group in Harvard, and then collections specialist for Triseal Corp in Hebron.

Jo loved to travel, camp, and sightsee. One of her favorite adventures was a trip to Alaska in 2001. They flew up and were to return on Sept. 12, 2001. On 9/11 all flights were cancelled and airports closed. She and Tom joined two other couples they had never met, rented a maxi van, and drove home from Anchorage down the Alaska Highway. Another favorite trip was to central Nebraska for the total eclipse of the sun. Also, there were many trips to national parks and other scenic areas.

Jo is survived by her husband, Tom; beloved children, Kimberly Smith, Pamela (Russ) Nykaza, Michael Smith, Patrick (Jill) Smith, and Philip (Kelly) Smith. Jo’s much loved grandchildren are Brianna (Ben) Sjoerdsma, Cassie Nykaza, Sean Nykaza, Ian Nykaza, Christopher Smith, Meghan Smith, Nick Smith, TJ Smith, and Fiona Smith. She will also be missed by great-grandchildren Mason and Raelynn Sjoerdsma and Jo’s sisters, June (Freund) Murphy and Jane (Freund) Montrose. Jo was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Carol Jean Smith. 

Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday Aug. 18, 2021, at the Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 N Seminary Ave., Woodstock, IL 60098. A memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday Aug. 19, 2021, at St Mary Catholic Church, 312 Lincoln Ave, Woodstock, IL 60098. Interment will be at St Joseph’s cemetery Harvard, Ill.

The family is very grateful for the loving care and prompt response to Jo’s needs provided by Kindred Home Hospice. Special thanks go to Nurse Theresa, Father Adam, and nurses’ aide Donna. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Mary Catholic Church, 312 Lincoln Ave., Woodstock, IL 60098, or Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, 1140 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607, or a charity of your choice.

For information, contact the Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home at 815-338-1710, or visit

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