Janice McHenry Smith

July 10, 1935 ~ June 11, 2023

Janice Eloise McHenry Smith, 87, of Lake Charles, entered into Heaven Sunday, June 11, 2023, from a local health care facility.

Janice was born July 10, 1935, to Russell E. and Ruth McHenry in Iola, KS.  She lived over thirty years in Lake Charles.  She was a graduate of Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, KS where she obtained a diploma degree in nursing.  She worked as a registered nurse from 1967-1997 in Lake Charles, eighteen of those years as Director of Materials Management for St. Patrick’s Hospital and was a member of the Association of Operating Room Nurses.  An active member of her daughter’s Girl Scout Troops, she received the Girl Scout “THANKS” badge.  A lady of grace and prayer, she was actively involved in Bella Vista Methodist Church while living in Arkansas and currently at St Luke Simpson United Methodist Church, where she was a member of Seekers Bible Study Group. 

She married the love of her life, Paul Smith, in 1954. They moved to Lake Charles in 1967, after living in various places as Paul worked construction jobs as an electrician. She decided when they moved to Lake Charles that their children needed a consistent place to grow up. She and her husband retired and moved to Bella Vista, AR for about 20 years, and have many dear friends both there and in Lake Charles.

She leaves to cherish and celebrate her memory her children: Dr. Tari Dilks and husband Dr. Larry Dilks of Lake Charles, Tim Smith and wife Susan of Bella Vista, AR , Tracy Smith of Moss Bluff, Tommy Smith of Des Moines, IA and daughter in law Dr. Dena Matzenbacher of Lake Charles; 10 grandchildren Melanie Cooley, Jason Alexander (Brandie),  Cameron Alexander, Michael Paul Kramer (Kristina), Dr. Melissa Kramer; Russell Alexander (Nicole), Leandro Smith, Shelly Dilks, Melinda Kramer and Andrew Smith; 20 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul J. Smith, son, Paul Anthony (Tony) Smith, her parents, and her siblings, Donna and Gene.

We could tell you many stories of our mom and grandma and we look forward to hearing the ones all of you have.  Her great granddaughter summed her life up like this: “If you know my grandma, you know she was one of the most stubborn, hardworking ladies you have ever met. She always held herself to a high standard and succeeded.  She set many goals, which she accomplished by herself and with others. The love she had for her family was the strongest. I’ve always admired her work ethic and the way she never gave up when it came to doing a task…Heaven gained a beautiful soul and I know in my heart that it’s already a better place with her in it.  We all know she’s probably got Grandpa Smith whipped into shape.”

Visitation will be from 11:00 AM until the time of service on Wednesday, June 14th. Funeral services will be at 1pm at the Chapel of Johnson Funeral Home. The Rev. Dr. John Robert Black will officiate. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital,, or the charity of your choice.




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