Iris Jean Lutz Smith (or “Maple” as Dad teasingly called her) died peacefully in the early
morning hours of May 9, 2019, just 4 months after losing her beloved husband of 67
years, Bob Smith. She was 90 years old.
Born in Gaston County, NC, the middle child with two brothers and two sisters, she
married Bob Smith, Korean veteran, who later retired from Ideal Upholstery, and they
made their home in Dallas, NC. She worked all her life as well, finally retiring from her
job at Homelite. Together, they were faithful members of Plainview Baptist Church
where they leave cherished friends.
The ultimate caregivers throughout their entire married life, she and Bob welcomed
many family members and some friends to live with them for a time in their home or on
their adjacent property. They cared for Grandma Bessie Lutz until her death: their
hearts usually over-flowed with love and humor, truly enacting Jesus’ words, “freely
you have received, just as freely give.” In fact, countless Gaston County baby blankets
were crocheted by Mom throughout her adult years. And she proudly supported her
husband who gladly crafted furniture for loved ones and gave away countless handturned pens.
In 2016, Jean and Bob moved to Asheville to reside with their only child, Don, and his
wife Bonnie who were treated to many a Happy Hill breakfast or fried fish meal. They
loved going out to eat; Dad would often repeat their joke, “Jean’s gettin’ cranky ‘cause
she ain’t had her catfish.” Like her husband, Mom always had a mischievous glint in
her eye due to a wickedly sharp sense of humor which she displayed even after
suffering a serious stroke 17 years ago. She was one of the warmest, smartest,
funniest, yet most humble people that God ever made and He blessed us with her
She was preceded in death by her sisters, Lib Summey, Rose Ann Boggs and brother,
Sam Lutz. Besides her son and daughter-in-law, left to cherish her memory are her
brother, Bob Lutz and his wife, Ursula of Dallas, as well as many great-great, great and
first generation nephews and nieces. Her life will also be fondly remembered by new
and old friends all over North Carolina, including members of Abernethy UMC where
she and Bob attended church in Asheville.
Don and Bonnie wish to thank the entire staff of the Marjorie McCune Center, as well
as Four Seasons Hospice and Encompass Health for the wonderful, professional care
Mom was given in the last few months of her life.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in the chapel of
the Western Carolina State Veterans’ Cemetery in Black Mountain, NC. In lieu of
flowers, memorial gifts may be offered to either Plainview Baptist Church in Dallas or
Abernethy UMC in Asheville whose Pastors, Mark and Kelly faithfully visited and
prayed for all us Smiths.
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