Bessie Smith, 105, of Redwood Falls died Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at Wood Dale Nursing Home in Redwood Falls. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 from Middle Creek United Methodist Church, rural Redwood Falls, with burial to follow in the Redwood Falls Cemetery. Visitation will be held Tuesday, June 6, 2017, from 5 until 7 p.m., at Nelson-Hillestad Funeral Home in Redwood Falls and will continue on Wednesday, from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m., at the church.
Arrangements are with Nelson-Hillestad Funeral and Cremation Service of Redwood Falls. E-mail condolences may be sent via
Bessie Ellen Smith, the daughter of George and Bessie (Bauer) Whittet, was born November 20, 1911 in Delhi Township, Redwood County. She grew up in rural Redwood Falls and graduated from Redwood Falls High School in 1930.
On September 23, 1934, Bessie and Grant Smith drove to South Dakota to get married. They lived and farmed along the Minnesota River in Flora Township, Renville County. Grant passed away in 1991 and Bessie continued to live on their farm until moving into Garnette Gardens, Redwood Falls, in 2008. Bessie was a member of the Middle Creek United Methodist Church and served as a 4-H leader while her children were growing up. Bessie enjoyed exhibiting baked goods and handwork at the county fair where she earned many champion ribbons as well as recognition of being the oldest exhibitor.
She is survived by her daughters Janette (Knud) Basballe of Morgan and Dorothy (Warren) Maurer of Brandon, South Dakota; grandchildren Jim (Sandy) Smith, John (Lori) Smith, and Jeff Smith all of Redwood Falls, Galen (Deb) Smith of St. Peter, Laura Basballe of Apple Valley, Douglas (Rebecca) Basballe of Mankato, David (Jennifer) Basballe of Beaver Creek, Ohio, and Joshua Smith of Minneota; and six great-grandchildren. Bessie was preceded in death by her husband Grant, son Gerald, and sister Bernice VanZant.
Blessed be her memory.