Gwen Smith

Gwen Jean Smith

August 25, 1931 - November 12, 2019
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Gwen Jean Smith, age 88, of Ottumwa passed away November 12, 2019 at Ridgewood Specialty Care in Ottumwa, under the care of Hospice Serving Davis and Wapello Counties.  She was born on August 25, 1931 in Corydon to Easter (McGraw) Showalter.  
Gwen was the first female official elected in Wapello County, where she served as  County Treasurer and was re-elected during the 1950’s and early 1960's.  Always a maverick, Gwen left home at sixteen with three friends and a Chevy.  Destination: Hollywood.  They would stop whenever they ran out of money, work waitressing jobs until they saved enough money to move on.  They made it to Hollywood, waitressing at a carhop near the movie studios.  She spent some time there, until the traveling spirit struck again and she traveled onward to Fairbanks, Alaska where she worked for the Army and raced trucks on the weekends.  Gwen returned to Ottumwa after her escapades and ran for elected office.  She met and married Richard Eugene Smith in 1954.   
Gwen is survived by her daughters, Casey Jean Lind, Cathy Jane Fuhrman, and two grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her mother, Easter Strong, husband, Richard Eugene Smith, and sister, Betty Kiefer.  
Gwen’s body has been cremated with no planned services. Online condolences may be left for the family at Arrangements entrusted with Sinnott Funeral Home in Ottumwa.
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