Arlene Ruth Smith (Hampton) passed away peacefully surrounded by her children Sunday, January 6, 2019. After a courageous battle with cancer she is suffering no more. She wanted to see one more Christmas and for that everyone is grateful.
Arlene was born at home in Overland Park Kansas on July 31, 1942. Her mother insisted on giving birth at home because hospitals were full of sick people. She graduated from Shawnee Mission North in 1960. Shortly after she married James Russell Smith of Mohawk New York. Arlene was introduced to Jim by her big brother Edwin. Jim and Ed were student athletes at Ottawa University. Ed always thought of Jim as a brother and knew that he would be good enough for his baby sister.
Jim and Arlene made their home in Olathe Kansas as Jim was hired by the Olathe School District to teach and coach. Arlene worked at several jobs before she had her 3 children. After she had her kids she decided to go back to college. She attended Mid America Nazarene University where she got a Bachelor of Education degree. She graduated Manga Cum Laude in 4 years. All while she was taking care of 3 active kids, running a household and supporting her husband. She was also hired by the Olathe School District. She became one of the first elementary Physical Education teachers in the district. Arlene started her career by splitting her time between 2 schools, Meadow Lane and North View. After a few years of this the district decided to add a teacher for each school and she went to Meadow Lane where she remained until she retired in 2004. Arlene went back to college while was still teaching to get her Master’s Degree from Webster University. When she earned that degree it was also with honors. It is safe to say that she was very good at multi-tasking.
Arlene kept busy in retirement. One of the things she particularly enjoyed was being a crossing guard at an elementary school in Gardner. She of course got to know all of her kids personally and even went to their music programs and sporting events when she was invited. Arlene spent much of her retirement watching the activities of her grandkids. She was always in the auditorium, the gym or the baseball diamond supporting her grandson’s. Her boys always considered her one of their biggest fans. Arlene belonged to only two churches during her life. She grew up in the First Baptist Church of Overland Park. When she moved to Olathe she became a member of the First Baptist Church in Olathe. She was a very active member and drew a lot of her strength from her church family. The members of her church were instrumental in supporting her in her battle with cancer. Arlene never met a person that she didn’t like. If she knew you, she loved you and she told you so. Arlene was small but mighty. She has been described as spunky, gritty, joyful, happy, selfless, kind, beautiful and faithful. She will be missed by many.
Arlene is preceded in death by her husband Jim. Her mother LaVere Mae Hampton (Phillips), Her father William Miles Hampton, Her brothers Edwin Miles Hampton and Justin Raymond Hampton and her sister-in-law Wilma Jean Hampton (Brown). She is survived by her children Lauri Orscheln (Denny Knop), Jeff Smith (Cindy Smith) and Melanie Smith. Grandsons Brannon Smith, Miles Orscheln (Allison Orscheln) and Jacob Sanders.
The visitation and funeral will be at First Baptist Church Olathe, 2024 E 151st St, Olathe, KS 66061. They will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019. Visitation will be at 10:00 am and Funeral will be at 11:30.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either the First Baptist Church of Olathe, 2024 E 151st St, Olathe, KS 66062 or to Olathe Health Hospice at Olathe Health Charitable Foundation, 20375 W. 151st St., Suite 363, Olathe, KS 66061 (please write "Hospice House" on the memo line of your check).
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