Jean Carpenter Smith was born December 7, 1940, the eighth of 10 children of Fred and Ruth Carpenter; cotton and tobacco farmers just outside of Marshville, N.C., in Union County. In later years this area was often referred to as “Carpenterville.”
In ninth grade, at Marshville High, Jean met Jim. They would date off and on throughout high school. After graduation, she briefly worked as a clerk in Charlotte while he began basic training in the Air Force. The following Christmas, Jim proposed and they were married on April 23, 1960. They moved to Florida, to the Tyndall Air Force Base area where he was stationed for a year. They were then transferred to Kure Beach, N.C. for two years where they had their first two children, Allen in 1961 and Carl in 1962, both born in Wilmington, N.C.
For their final year in the Air Force in 1963, they were transferred to Holloman AFB in New Mexico. After completing his service, they drove to Sarasota, Fla., to find jobs and enroll Richard in the Ringling School of Art for three years. While in Florida, they found a church where they met the artist, Wayland Moore, who worked for the Florida Herald-Tribune. Wayland took Jim and Jean under his wing and introduced them to the painter Al Buell. Jean became Al’s part-time assistant in the mornings and Jim would drive her to a law office in the afternoons, where she was a bookkeeper.
Jim was recruited by Hallmark Cards, Inc., from Ringling, and in Feb of 1966 they moved to Kansas City, Mo. Jean worked at Hallmark briefly as well, as a receptionist before deciding to stay at home with her children. Scott was born shortly after in 1967. In 1972 they bought five acres of land in the small rural town of Raymore where they built their home, and still reside today. Shortly thereafter, in 1973, Julie was born.
In addition to being a mom and wife, Jean volunteered through the years in a myriad of capacities. From pre-school Sunday School teacher to elementary school room mother, to assist with Children’s Home events, singing in the church choir, or leading the WMU at First Baptist of Raymore. She often organized or participated in providing meals for families in need. Jean enjoyed singing and listening to praise music and spent much of her time nurturing the plants and flowers in her gardens.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Ruth Carpenter, her brothers Bert, Jack, Ben, Bill, and Tommy Carpenter, and her sister Wanda Bradley. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, James Richard Smith of Raymore; her four children Allen (Cindy) Smith, Carl (Nancy) Smith both of Raymore, Scott (Julie Anne) Smith of Columbia, and Julie (Jason) Stirnaman of Evanston, Ill.; 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one on the way; her sisters, Patsy Helms of Marshville, N.C., Ann Traywick of Peachland, N.C., and Jane Griffin of Charlotte, N.C.
In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to either the Missouri Palliative and Hospice Care online at https://www.missourihc.com/ 3675 S. Noland Rd #225, Independence, Missouri 64055 OR the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home online at https://www.mbch.org/donate-now/memorials-and-honorariums/11 20509 State Hwy J, Peculiar, Missouri 64078.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. at Cullen Funeral Home, 612 W. Foxwood Dr., Raymore. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. followed by a funeral service starting at 11. A private family service will then be held at Raymore Cemetery.
Arrangements: Cullen Funeral Home,
Raymore, Missouri 816-322-5278