GREENWOOD

All of the books have been returned.

Mary Jo Smith passed away Saturday, April 8, 2017 at at Franciscan St. Health in Indianapolis.

Mary Jo lived a vivid life that somewhat mirrored the colorful lives of the characters in the books she enjoyed. She flew planes for the Civil Air Patrol during World War II, she was a business owner who taught dance, and she was a secretary for an Indianapolis law firm.

After welcoming two girls in the early 1960s, Mary Jo became a homemaker. Her famous strawberry jam is coveted by all, and every year her family would nudge her to make another batch.

Her daughters would go on to become very involved with the Girl Scouts, and Mary Jo would serve as a troop leader and member of the Hoosier Capital Cookie Committee.

She helped to establish Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Parish as one of its earliest members.

Mary Jo’s voracious appetite for a good novel or mystery was only surpassed by her love of crossword puzzles. “Spelling is a simple art” was her 1938 Garrett High School yearbook quote and it fit her to a T. Her spelling was another expertise that she used in one of her favorite hobbies: crossword puzzles. Despite her family’s attempt to find the hardest crossword puzzle books available, Mary Jo would finish three or four puzzles a day. She often finished the local newspaper’s crossword before her first cup of coffee was finished.

Travel was an important part of Mary Jo’s life as well. She visited 49 of the 50 United States and traveled overseas. The only state missing from her list was North Dakota.

She instilled the sense of wonder and want for life experiences in her children and grandson.

Mary Jo was born March 3, 1921, in Garrett, to Raymond and Loretto (Manion) Behler.

She is survived by one brother, John Behler (Mary) of Twinsburg, Ohio; a daughter, Martha Smith of Bloomington; and a grandson, Aaron Hommell (Caroline) of Gulfport, Mississippi.

Mary Jo was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Smith; and one daughter, Margaret Hommell.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, followed by a graveside service at Calvary Cemetery in Garrett.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the White River Branch of the Johnson County Public Library.

Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Services and Crematory – Greenwood Chapel, have been entrusted with final arrangements.

Please visit our website, wilsonstpierre.com, to share a memory or write a condolence for the family.