Kathleen “Kathy” Jo Smith, age 78, of Alexandria, formerly of South St. Paul, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 10, 2023 at Grand Arbor in Alexandria.
Kathy was born on August 27, 1945, to Joseph and Viola (Plan) Bauch in South Saint Paul, MN, and graduated from South St. Paul High School in 1963. After high school she wed Robert Johnson and from that union two sons were born, Todd and Troy.
In 1973, she married the love of her life, Kenneth Smith. Married 37 years, they made their home in South Saint Paul and enjoyed summers by the lake in Pine City with family and friends.
Kathy owned and operated Kathy’s License Service, a private deputy registrar office in South St. Paul for nearly 40 years. She worked hard to build loyal customer relationships. Auto dealers from across the Twin Cities region would bring their business to her because of her reputation of service excellence. This excellence earned her the River Heights Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award in 1991, and she was the first woman to receive the 1998 Visions of Excellence Award. Kathy was also active in her community and church, as a Rotarian, as a board member of South St. Paul Educational Foundation, a Bremer Bank director, and as a faithful member of Grace Lutheran Church.
Above all else, Kathy had a deep love for her family. She was the heart of the family with many memories made at the family cabin and hosting annual Christmas gatherings for her large extended family at her home. She especially loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She made every interaction with them intentional, meaningful and memorable.
Her faith and love of God were always an integral part of her life. She instilled that in her grandchildren, and that legacy will live on. After moving to Alexandria in 2018, she reaffirmed the promise of new life through baptism and was welcomed into her new church home, Calvary Lutheran Church.
Kathy’s life will live on in the loving memory of her son Todd Johnson (Jill); daughter-in-law Valery Johnson; stepdaughters Betty Rushworth (Robert), and Karen Koch; sisters JoAnn Sobaski, and Judy Glazier; grandchildren Dylan Johnson (Lauren), Sarah Hanson (Sawyer), Heather Corson (Ben), Mason Johnson, Sydney Johnson, Tessa Nevers (Brandon), Ashley Nickle; great-grandchildren Abby, Carly, and Dean; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and dear lifelong friends Cheryl Carter, and Linda Metzen.
She is preceded in death by her parents; husband Ken; son Troy Johnson; sister Beverly and brother-in-law Robert Jerikovsky; brother-in-law David Glazier; and brother-in-law Kenneth Sobaski.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, December 30, at 11 AM at Calvary Lutheran Church, 605 Douglas Street in Alexandria, with Pastor Hans Dahl officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Kathy’s celebration of life service will be recorded and livestreamed on her obituary page on the Anderson Funeral Home website.
Special thanks to the Grand Arbor staff for their care of Kathy.
Kathy will be forever missed and remembered for her radiant smile, her loving heart, and her unwavering devotion to her family and friends.
Memorial contributions can be made to South St. Paul Educational Foundation, or Calvary Lutheran Church https://pushpay.com/g/calvaryalex .