Martha Louise Smallwood, age 93, of Mexico, died Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital – Audrain.

She was born on Dec. 24, 1924 to Henry and Mary (Delaney) Rudasill in a farmhouse near Strother, MO.  20 degrees below zero on Christmas Eve, it was uncertain that the doctor could make it.  He did and then had to stay because of the weather.

She was six years old when the Great Depression started and she helped her father deliver milk from their dairy farm.  When she was 16, WWII started and because of the labor shortage, she helped her father milk 100 dairy cows a day.

She graduated Paris High School and earned a Bachelors in Education from Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville, MO in three years.  In 1946, she started teaching Home Economics in Louisiana, MO.

On Dec. 20, 1947, she married Claude W. Smallwood in Hannibal, MO and they remained married until his death on Dec. 20, 2006.

She and her husband moved to Mexico in 1956 where they raised their family.  She later taught Home Economics at Mexico High School.

In retirement, she loved to travel with her husband Claude and their best buddies Ed and Thelma.  Their two road trips to Alaska were legendary and created memories that lasted for the rest of their days.  Their car, also called the banana boat, is famous throughout the northwest.

Her red geraniums were the talk and envy of Mexico residents.  She lived her life caring for her family and her greatest joy was preparing home cooked meals.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Claude; a son, Philip Bradley Smallwood on Nov. 10, 2005; an infant daughter, Becky Smallwood on Aug. 22, 1954; two sisters, Doris Harmon and Henrietta Metz; and a brother, Murray Rudasill.  

She is survived by her children, Gary Smallwood and his wife, Paula, of Tulsa, OK, John Smallwood of Tulsa, OK, and Joyce Wilson and her husband, Kent, of Mexico; grandchildren, Jeanette Fox and husband, Doug, of Council Bluffs, Iowa,  Glenda Pycha and her husband, Lewis, of Portland, Oregon, Emily Smallwood of Omaha, NE who shares a birthday with her grandmother, Caroline Smallwood of Ft. Worth, TX, Brooks Smallwood of Tulsa, OK, Nathan Hartner of Mexico, Trenton Wilson of Mexico; great-grandchildren, Opal, Coral, and Kinnick Fox, and Anton and Landen Pycha; and nephews, Donald Harmon of Mexico and Billy Harmon of Madison, MO.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20th at 2:00 p.m. at Arnold Funeral Home with her granddaughter, Caroline Smallwood officiating. Burial will follow at East Lawn Memorial Park.  Visitation is Saturday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church where she was a long-time member.

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