Ann Catherine (Grilliot) Smith passed away on Pearl Harbor Day on December 7, 2018, at the age of 93 in her home surrounded by her children. Ann was born on February 15, 1925, in Darke County, Ohio, the daughter of James and Barbara Grilliot. Ann sojourned with her family to western Kansas when she was 5 years old. During her life on the western high plains, she lived in a “basement house,” a “castle” on the plains, and a cattle ranch in Southeastern Colorado. Ann attended school in Syracuse and graduated from Coolidge High School.
Ann fell in love with a cowboy and World War II veteran, Mahlon Dean Smith, and they married in January of 1946. They purchased the old Shamrock School house for their home, just three miles from where Mahlon was born and raised and where his father and mother, George and Nora Smith, homesteaded. Together, they raised 16 children on their cattle ranch on the prairie. Her son, Jeff Smith, continues to operate the Smith Centennial Ranch to this day.
Ann enjoyed living in a small town that embraces community, history and friendship. She survived the Dust Bowl, droughts, life’s turmoils, and raising 16 children. Ann’s legacy lives on through her children and 110 grandchildren. After retiring from Fort Lyon VA as a medical transcriptionist, she enjoyed many hobbies, including quilting, raising flowers, gardening, and playing scrabble.
Ann was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, a life member of the Bent County Historical Society and a life member of the Las Animas VFW Auxiliary #2411. Ann’s Catholic upbringing and faith never wavered and she was an inspiration to her family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Barbara Grilliot; husband, Mahlon Smith; brothers, Joe and Jimmy Grilliot; sister, Mary Gerard; and great grandson, Roland Wayne Tomlin.
She is survived by her brother, Tom Grilliot; sister, Zita (Ken) Brummel; and brothers-in-law, Bob Smith and Don Gerard; her 16 children, Mike (Lois) Smith, Carol (Ken) McEndree, Kathleen (Harold) Tomlin, John (Carolyn) Smith, Richard (Zita) Smith, Barbara (Miles) Martin, Mark (Lisa) Smith, Margaret (David) Johnson, Jeff (Tamara) Smith, Susan (Brad) McKinney, Janelle (Lewis) Nickell, Mary Beauchamp, Nancy (Phil) York, Karen Smith, Joanna (Pat) Schupbach, and Amy (Jay) Smith; 45 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren, 7 great-great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Las Animas with Father Henry Wertin officiating. Interment will follow at the Smith Ranch Peaceful Valley Cemetery. Visitation for Ann will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Monday, December 10, 2018, at Horber Funeral Chapel and a Rosary/Scripture service beginning at 5 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Condolences may be sent to the Smith Family, 427 Maple Ave., Las Animas, CO, 81054. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made payable to the Arkansas Valley Hospice or St. Mary’s Catholic Church in care of Horber Funeral Chapel, PO Box 431, Las Animas, CO 81054.
For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit horberfuneralchapel.com.