Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 8, 2013

Barbara Smewing


TRAVERSE CITY — Barbara Jean Smewing, 83, a lifelong resident of Traverse City, died Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.

Barbara was born on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1930, to the late Charles and Agnes (Korb) Sladek in Traverse City, becoming the fifth generation of the Sladek family to be born and live in Traverse City. She grew up with her parents next to her grandparents between the Open Space and Division Street.

The Sladek family was one of the first commercial fishing families in Traverse City, catching, smoking and selling the fish. Barbara received her schooling in Traverse City and on Sept. 23, 1950, she married Raymond E. Smewing at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Traverse City.

For 25 years, Barbara had been employed at Munson Medical Center prior to her retirement. She loved working in her yard, priding herself in keeping it in tip top shape. She loved spending time at the beach, and was a very creative person who took pride in her home, loved animals and was a perfectionist.

She will always be remembered for her heart of gold, her unconditional love and her openness to all who crossed her path.

Barbara is survived by her husband Ray; her children, David (Rose Ann) Smewing, of Fife Lake, Sue (Jaan) Tuulik and Stuart (Janet) Smewing, all of Traverse City; her grandchildren, Melissa Smewing and Linsley Ransom; a sister, Shirley Kildee, of Lansing; and a sister-in-law Bobbie Sladek, of Traverse City. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, a brother Donald who died in infancy and her brother Raymond.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 14 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Fr. Anthony Citro presiding. Cremation has taken place and interment will take place at Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens. Friends may visit with the family beginning one hour prior to the mass at church.

The family would appreciate that Barbara be remembered through memorial contributions to the Cherryland Humane Society.

Please share your memories and thoughts by way of Barbara's online guest book at

The family is being served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.