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Mary Jo Smith
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Mary Jo Smith, 73, passed away on May 17, 2010 of a sudden illness.

She was born April 1, 1937 to Arlene (Wood) Smith and Seward Smith of Blairsburg, Iowa. The family moved to a dairy in Escalon shortly after her birth. Mary Jo, her parents and brothers and sisters were all very active in the Enterprise 4-H and San Joaquin County 4-H programs. She excelled in the dairy competition at the county and state fairs winning many championships. She also earned the highest honor awarded by the county program, the 4-H All Star.

An excellent student, she was awarded the Bob Hope Scholarship in Dairy Industry for four years. She graduated from the University of CA, Davis in 1959. Although offered advanced educational opportunities, Mary Jo chose to return home to run the family dairy with her father. She continued to milk cows until her health made it too difficult. In later years she was the primary caregiver for her mother, made doll clothes, worked in her garden and baked. Guests at the ranch usually went home with some sort of her home baked goodies or vegetables.

Mary Jo was easily the favorite Aunt of her many nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews. She never missed any of their special days and will be greatly missed by all.

Survivors include her mother Arlene; siblings Frances Welch of Woodburn OR, Sue Ann Smith (Don) of Escalon, Dorothy Morey (Dan) of Bakersfield, Bob Smith of Escalon, Peggy Zelazny (Frank) of Bellevue NE, Joe Smith (Pam) of Escalon, and John Smith of Escalon; and their children and grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her father Seward.

Visitation was Thursday, May 20 at Deegan Funeral Chapel. Graveside service was on Friday, May 21 at Burwood Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be sent to: Seward and Arlene Smith Scholarship Fund, c/o Escalon High School, 1520 Yosemite Ave., Escalon CA 95320.

Arrangements by Deegan Funeral Chapel in Escalon with an on line guest book available at

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

May 26, 2010