West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242

Gwen Smolnik
Gwen Smolnik

Viewing and visitation services for Gwen Smolnik, 76, West Plains, Missouri, will be held Monday, November 11, 2013 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Carter Chapel, West Plains, with Deacon Pat Keefe officiating under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc., West Plains.

She was born the daughter of the late Buford Jackson and Helen Lanogan Jackson, on June 27, 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts and died November 6, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. She had lived most of her life in the Barto, Pennsylvania area before moving to Missouri.

She is survived by four children, Michael, Alaina, Laurie, and Brian; one brother, Buford (Sonny) Jackson, Jr.; four sisters, Valerie Reddinger, Lynette Gardner, Fildelma Harris, and Veldon Matz; five grandchildren, Matthew, Elizabeth, Creon, Skye, and Samantha.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Buford and Helen Lanogan Jackson; one son, Carl Smolnik, and one sister, Jeanie Hatfield.

She was a long standing member for over thirty years of the Butter Valley Community Church, in Bally Pennsylvania. She had been editor of the church newspaper for fifteen years, along with working with the Sunday School classes.



  1. Pam Niemits
    November 8, 2013 @ 7:23 am

    Brian, I was so sorry to read of the passing of your Mom. I’ve thought of her many times in the past years. Recently we went to Landis Store and passed the mobile home park you lived in, and again I thought about her and wondered where she was and how she was. I’m hoping you remember me from the days we lived across the driveway from you on Sheeder Road. Thankfully, we are all doing well. Kim is married with four children, Scott is not married, but he and his girlfriend have been together for over 12 years. He and Sheri live on Sheeder Road, Stan and I live on Pughtown Rd and Kim lives in Pughtown. None of us moved too far!! I’m hoping you and your family are doing well and that your Mom enjoyed
    her last years. Pam Niemits

  2. Lynnette Evans
    November 8, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    I knew Gwen when she worked at Unisys (Burroughs) GVL Labs in Malvern, PA. She was a technical librarian at that time. Gwen and I worked together for a number of years at Unisys to bring Christmas joy to the faces of blind and multiply handcapped children from the Royer Greaves school through a Christmas party held at Unisys for the children that included a band and a visit from Santa bringing gifts of course. Gwen was a kind hearted and giving person and will be missed. My condolences to and prayers for her family.

  3. Marjorie Litchert
    November 9, 2013 @ 10:45 am

    My husband and I were foster parents to Gwen’s son, Carl for many years. After Carl was married and had his son, Creon, he had us and his mother for dinner. It was a lovely time and Gwen was a most gracious lady. We never got to meet again until she called us about the untimely death of her son, Carl. Our family went to his service and it touched all of our hearts so very much. It was very hard on my children as they dearly had accepted him as part of our family.

    Last year I attended a service at a local church where the speaker was the pastor of Gwen’s church. I asked about her and he informed me that she had moved to Missouri and had suffered some medical problems.

    Please know that I thought about her so much. I did not really know her but knew that she had lived a church related life. Our sincere blessings and prayers are sent to all of her family.

    Marjorie Litchert

  4. Lori Jo (Litchert) Whitehaus
    November 9, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    Gwen’s son, Carl Smolnik, came to live with us as my foster brother when he was 6 years old. It was my choice because I had asked for a brother for Christmas. My family was quite involved with foster care, inspiring me to do the same as an adult. My husband and I also became foster parents. I loved Carl and always felt sorry for his mother that she had to give him up due to life’s challenging circumstances. From this lovely obituary, it appears that she was able to lead a very meaningful life. Blessing to her family.