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Memories & Candles

“Guess I've known Ruth since we were 6 years old. From 1st grade through 12th. Lots of fun times in the band! I know you'll be missed by all that knew...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Dave Embree - Navarre, OH

“I have so many wonderful memories growing up of my Aunt Ruth, Uncle Burdette, and cousins. When we were all together as a family, whether, in Ohio...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Melissa Woodruff - Blacklick, OH

“i'm so sorry to learn of ruth's passing. she was my secretary when i ran the weatherization program at polk county. she was a great worker and fine...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: john chambers - des moines, IA

“I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed visiting with Ruth while at Polk County. Such a fine lady, she was. Offering prayers of sympathy and...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Peg Hoemann Fauser - Ankeny, IA

“Janet and other family members, I am so sorry for your loss. Ruth kept in touch with me regularly with Facebook messages. We live next-door to her...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Joye Scheffler - Richmond, VA

“So sorry for your loss. ”
6 of 7 | Posted by: Jene and Alan Lamb - Des Moines, IA

“Prayers for the Smythe family. Ruth was a great lady, a great friend and fellow musician. She was always so positive and helpful in any situation....Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: Steve Carstenson - Ankeny, IA


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Ruth Smythe, 83, died October 28, 2019 at The Bridges of Ankeny. Ruth was born July 10, 1936 in Marietta, Ohio to John and Flossie Schweikert. Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Ankeny Christian Church (2506 SW 3rd St Pl. Ankeny) with family present. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. also at the church. Burial will follow in Ankeny Memorial Gardens.

As a young girl, Ruth enjoyed Girl Scouts and 4-H Club work. She played in the Frankfort High School band and orchestra and sang in the Frankfort High School chorus and in the Frankfort Presbyterian Church choir. She graduated from Frankfort (OH) High School and received a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education Degree from Ohio University in Athens. She enjoyed her family. She was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and was a member of Ankeny Presbyterian Church for many years. She enjoyed singing in the choir (approximately 65 years) in every church where she became a member. She most recently attended Ankeny Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

On September 14, 1958 she married Burdette W. Smythe at the First Methodist Church in Athens, Ohio. Together they raised four sons and lived in four different states.

She was a Cub Scout den mother for many years in both Mississippi and Iowa. Ruth was a home economics teacher for several years, and a seamstress since the age of ten. For many years, she was the information person at the Polk County Office building and, more recently, the secretary for Polk County Weatherization. She was also a polling official for the Polk County Board of Elections. Ruth loved her family and cherished the times when they could all get together. She enjoyed her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, crossword puzzles, reading, computers, jigsaw puzzles, TV, sewing, and games with her family. She was also excited about becoming a great-grandmother three times.

Her parents, John and Flossie (Taylor) Schweikert of Frankfort, OH, her husband, Burdette, and two grandchildren, Zachary and Jordan Smythe of Ankeny, IA, preceded Ruth in death. She is survived by four sons, Scott (Cathleen) of Wellington, FL; Brian (Kathy) of Nashville, TN; Stephen (Melissa), and Matthew (Christa) of Ankeny, IA; nine grandchildren, Rebecca (Joseph) Phillips of Hanoi, Vietnam; Taylor Smythe of West Palm Beach, FL; Annie Smythe of Wellington, FL; Britta and (Pablo) Martinez De La Flor, of Tampa, FL; Marine Lance Corporal Spencer Smythe of Iowa City, IA, Faith Smythe of Des Moines, IA; Joshua, Lucas, and Madison Smythe of Ankeny, IA; three great-grandchildren, Scott Phillips; and Emyr and Ellie Martinez; and a sister, Janet Miller, of Gahanna, OH.