Ruth Elizabeth Wiesenborn Smith Johnson

Ruth Elizabeth Wiesenborn Smith Johnson

Ruth Elizabeth Wiesenborn Smith Johnson, 89, of Herrin, and formerly of Joppa, went to meet her Jesus in her home in the loving arms of her best friend, caregiver and daughter Belle at 9:23 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.

Ruth was born on June 20, 1933, in St. Louis, Mo., and was chosen and adopted by Henry and Cynthia Farris Wiesenborn when she was 4 months old.

She married Morris Smith in Grand Chain on Dec. 27, 1949, and to this union they had four loving children.

Ruth was a loving daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandma and great-great-grandma, and was known affectionately as “Granny Ruth.”

Granny Ruth was the best storyteller. Her ability to share her life stories always made you feel like you were there with her. 

She was once a member of a church choir, where she sang beautiful soprano and was featured on the radio several times.

She is survived by one daughter, Belle Smith Goodwin of Herrin; five grandchildren, Cherie (Scott) Harris of Dix, Cindy (Randy) Webb of Salem, Tim (Tanya) Russell and Rudy Kellum, all of Herrin, and Amy (Billy) Smith Hunt of Pittsburg, Ill.; eight great-grandchildren and 19  great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her infant babies; her parents; a brother, Philip Wiesenborn Jr.; three sons, Morris Edward, Michael Philip and Randall Lee; one infant grandchild, John Lee Smith; granddaughter Ashley Smith; and great-great-grandson Ethaniel Smith.

Later in life, Ruth was able to meet and create a bond with some of her biological siblings; they remained close throughout the years. She loved them very much. Finally, she felt like she was not a throw-away baby.

Graveside services honoring the life of Mrs. Ruth Elizabeth Wiesenborn Smith Johnson were at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Masonic Cemetery in Grand Chain. The Rev. Gerell Cain officiated. 

To leave an online message or to share a memory with the family, visit

Wilson Funeral Home in Karnak was in charge of arrangements.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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