Celebrating the life of Jo Ann Smith
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She was raised a coal-miner’s daughter in the Montana community of Roundup. Jo Ann has two siblings; James Tony Racki and Tony Joseph Racki; and two half sibling, Mary Ann Racki Dubisar, Betty Jo Racki Malone, Sharon Florine Jenness, Zoma and Myrtle.
She attended area schools until the age of 15.
Jo Ann married John Clemons, Donald Strand, Jr., Roger Hamilton, Christopher, Jim Edger, and Paul Smith.
Jo Ann was a true jack-of-all-trades. She held many jobs, beginning at age 11 when she worked in a bakery; at age 13 worked in a café; quit school at age 15 to work, then was sent to reform school.
She drove a potbelly livestock truck, transporting cows, horses, and sheep. She worked in a body shop wet-sanding autos; she surveyed for seismographers in the Badlands in North Dakota (walking 90 miles across in straight lines); she did grain field binding, shocking, and threshing and driving a grain truck; she raced motorcycles and raced a demolition derby car; she was a waitress and cook in a restaurant; she worked & cooked on a ranch; she built grain bins; she repossessed cars at the Indian Reservation; she flagged for a contractor laying fiber-optic cable; she worked on oil rigs and drilled water wells. She herded sheep and was a cowboy on horseback. Jo Ann moved and branded cattle. She built hay corrals, jack fence and worked in the hay fields, raking and bucking hay. She worked at a casino, owned a bar, owned and printed a newspaper, and was a weed control supervisor for eight years. She has driven a school bus for 20 years. Jo Ann also has been a foster mother for 187 kids (from a few days to months) - for that she gets golden wings.
She lived in Roundup most of her life. Jo Ann enjoyed tole painting and embroidering. She loved gardening and flowers. She loved her daughter, Bonnie Smith who resides in Redby, Minnesota, and Bonnie’s daughter, Dusti, who lived with her in Roundup for years. She loved Dusti’ Gordon’s children, Lucas, Shyanne, and Keele.
To plant a tree in memory of Jo Ann Smith, visit the Tribute Store.
208 1st Street West
Roundup, MT 59072