Emma Lillian Smith, age 98 years, died October 25, 2010 at Main Street Manor, Russell, Kansas, where she had been a resident since October, 2005. She was born October 14, 1912, in Dardanelle, Arkansas, daughter of Joseph and Dora (Larch) Balloun.
She attended school in Dardanelle, Arkansas and Gorham, Kansas. At a young age, she and her sisters came to live with her aunt and uncle R. G. and Mabelle Balloun and family. She married William F. Benso and was later divorced. She worked for many years in Russell, including the telephone office, Jane Harris Dress Shop, and Florence Sharp Dress Shop. In 1954, she married Howard L. Smith. They lived in Salina and Hiawatha, Kansas. They also resided for a time in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Lillian was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Hiawatha. She enjoyed traveling, gardening, canning, playing bridge and golfing.
Those who preceded her in death were her husband, Howard L. Smith; her parents Joseph and Dora Balloun; sisters Mary Ellen Adams, Katie Mae Stull, Faye Annette Hedges; one brother Jack B. Balloun; aunt and uncle R. G. and Mabelle (Balloun) Jenkins; cousins George R. Balloun and Lloyd L. Balloun.
Survivors include cousins Robert L. Balloun and wife Nancy; Betty Ann Boxberger and husband Dean of Russell; J. Eugene Balloun and wife Sheila of Lenexa; Patty Balloun of Russell; Joanne Keil of Great Bend; and Violetta Balloun of Liberal. Also surviving are sisters-in-law Virginia Balloun, Carolyn Smith and Maxine Smith Powell; niece Beverly Ann Rambo; nephew Dan Alan Balloun; and a number of other relatives and friends.
A memorial service to celebrate Lillianís life will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Friday, November 12, 2010 at the Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary Chapel in Russell with Pastor Terry McGuire officiating. Cremation has preceded the service and there will be no visitation. Contributions may be given to The Balloun Family Scholarship at Russell High School or Main Street Manor and sent in care of the mortuary. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.