Rita Mae Smith

March 3, 1928May 22, 2019

Rita Mae Smith (nee Huber) 1928-2019

Age 91, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, passed away on May 22, 2019 following an extended illness. She was born on March 3, 1928 in Canton, Ohio to William and Lola (nee Rose) Huber and resided in Stark County for much of her life until relocating to North Carolina. She was a 1947 graduate of Thatcher High School and a 1949 graduate of Gila Junior College, both in Thatcher, Arizona. She continued her education at Arizona State University and completed her bachelor’s degree in education at Malone College.

Rita began her teaching career in 1951 at Mineral City Elementary and subsequently taught at Reedurban Elementary and Heritage Christian School. She was an advocate of Christian education and active in the founding of Heritage Christian School, as well as Peace Christian Academy in Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia. In addition to her extensive teaching career, Rita was instrumental in the development of the family construction company, Smith Homes, established in 1963.

Rita was impacted by the tent revivals in the late 1940’s and subsequently made a profession of faith. Upon returning to Ohio in 1951, she and her sisters began attending the Christian Tabernacle, now known as Faith Community Church. The Huber sisters formed a trio and were regularly featured at Youth for Christ events, revival meetings and on the Wings of Faith radio program, an outreach ministry of Christian Tabernacle. Rita faithfully went to church and in recent years attended Canton Temple of Praise Church of God, Canton, and Richland Creek Community Church, Wake Forest.

Rita was an avid reader who was passionate about collecting books and reading her Bible. She was an artist, Sunday School teacher and enjoyed gardening, cooking and genealogy.

Rita was predeceased by her parents and her sister, Marian Murphy. She is survived by her daughter, Shawna (Steve) Fritz of Wake Forest, North Carolina; son, Steve Smith, and daughter, Priscilla Rice, both of Canton, Ohio; 7 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her siblings, Joanne (Ray) Flickinger, William (Lonna) Huber, and brother-in-law, Richard Murphy.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Karlo-Libby Funeral Home, 5000 Everhard Road N.W., Canton, Ohio with Pastor Delaney Young officiating. Interment will be in Rose Hill Memorial Gardens. Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home. The funeral service will begin at 10:30 a.m.


  • Visitation Saturday, June 1, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, June 1, 2019


Rita Mae Smith

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