Esther Lewis Smith, 102, of Shelocta, passed away Thursday, July 30, 2020, at Moorehead Place in Indiana.
She was born Jan. 30, 1918, in Donora, to the Rev. William Hershel Brown and Della Mae (Himelwright) Brown.
Before moving to Elderton in 1929, Esther spent her younger years in Donora; Wellsville, Ohio; and Sharon. Her father was the former pastor of Elderton Lutheran Parish which included Gastown, Mt. Union and South Bend. The family lived in the parsonage in Elderton. She graduated from Elderton High School in 1936 and then attended Indiana Business College, receiving her associate’s degree in secretarial work.
Esther married Ira Miles Smith on June 15, 1938, and they had many wonderful years of marriage until his passing on Jan. 30, 1967. At first they ran a family farm, but in 1965 Miles and Esther were given the opportunity to purchase school buses from Miles’ employer, Clair Thompson. This was the beginning of the Smith Bus Company, which is still owned by the family. For many years, Esther owned the bus company where she performed a variety of administrative duties.
Esther was a member of Mt. Union Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and prepared the church bulletin for over 40 years. She also worked the local election polls. Esther was very involved with her children’s school, serving on the PTA for many years and as the secretary for the Elderton School Board. She will be remembered for being a hard worker and a God-fearing woman who always followed her faith.
She is survived by her children, Raymond M. Smith and wife, Nancy, of Allison Park; Randall L. Smith and wife, Sandy, of Shelocta; and daughter Karen C. Aune and husband, Alan, of Anoka, Minn; 16 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and a daughter-in-law, Saundra Smith, of Shelocta.
Esther was preceded in death by her parents; her loving husband of 28 years, Ira Miles Smith; two sons, William I. Smith and Thomas J. Smith; a great-grandchild, Andrew Aune; her brothers, Kirk Brown, Paul E. Brown and David Brown; and a sister, Della Scranton.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at Clark Chapel of the Bauer Funeral Home, 238 Main St., Elderton.
Additional visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of funeral services at 11 a.m. Monday at Mt. Union Lutheran Church, 1051 Girty Road, Shelocta, with the Rev. Joyce Dix-Weiers officiating.
Interment will follow in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Ford City.
Contributions can be made in Esther’s honor to Mt. Union Lutheran Church, 1051 Girty Road, Shelocta, PA 15774.
Arrangements are being handled by the Clark Chapel of the Bauer Funeral Home Inc.
Due to current regulations, all social distancing guidelines will be followed. Guests are respectfully asked to wear a mask or face covering.
To send a condolence to Esther’s family, please visit www.bauerfuneral.com.