Ione E. Smith-Kreamer, 95, passed away peacefully Friday, November 4, 2011 at Brookside Care Center with her nephew at her side.
Born in Somers, WI March 12, 1916 to Samuel and Thora (Michelson) Smith. Her education began in a one-room rural school for the first eight years, followed by four years secondary in Kenosha’s high school, graduating in 1933 in the middle of the Depression, with her mother’s desire that she become a teacher as she had been. She later attended Union Grove Teacher’s College, University of Colorado, Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Ione earned a Bachelor of Education Degree and her Master’s Degree.
World War II developed and Ione volunteered her time entertaining activities for servicemen stationed at Great Lakes Naval Station. This was where she met her husband Kenneth Leon Kreamer, an injured Marine. They were united in marriage on October 28, 1945 at Somers Congregational Church. After 57 years of marriage Kenneth passed away while in Florida for the winter on January 7, 2003. They spent 25 winters in Florida.
Ione was a Teacher and Librarian at several schools, Thomas Jefferson, Paris Corners and Bullamore Forks in the county and Frank, Roosevelt, Grevenow, Southport and Lance schools in the city. In 1977 she retired after more than 40 years. After retirement she and Ken spent their winters at their home in Hudson, FL.
A member of First United Methodist Church in Kenosha and Hudson, FL. where Ione helped develop a large Library for the Methodist Church; United Methodist Women, WEA, KEA and WEA & KEA Retiree’s Association, CWAG, Danish Sisterhood of America, Kenosha Co. Historical Society, Kenosha Women’s Club, PEO Sisterhood, Alpha Delta Kappa, American Assoc. of University Women. She also served on the Board of Meridian House, Kenosha Co. Board of Health representing Seniors; in 1980 Les Aspin appointed her to the White House Conference on Aging representing Wisconsin; Western Kenosha County Historical Society. Since 2003 Ione devoted her time to volunteering and helping seniors in need. She was thankful to the Lord for the years she had to serve the needy in our community.
In 1984 she was honored as one of Wisconsin’s 10 most admired citizens. Ione received many awards, AAUW for years of service; from 1977 to 1992 an award for serving on the Advisory Council for Southeastern Wisconsin Area Agency on Aging; Certificate of appreciation for 25 years of service to the Unified Schools. In 2005 she was awarded a Volunteer Vista Brick in Eichelman Park; 2004 she received a Lifetime Award for service with the elderly; from 2005 to 2008 she was involved with "Walk for the Health of It" with Daniel J. Travanty, which is now known as The Ione Kreamer Walk for the Health of It." In 2008, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award for the 1933 graduating class of Kenosha High School. In 2009, she received the Kenosha Area Disability Services Award.
Surviving are a nephew; James (Sharon) Smith of Kenosha; two nieces; Evelyn (Dave) Johnston of Pueblo, Colorado; Eileen Strong of Medicine Lodge, KS; a great niece Jennifer Smith (Thomas) Miller of Kenosha of Kenosha; great nephew; Michael (Christine Chambers) Smith of Kenosha; 2 great great nieces; Hannah and Hailey Miller; two great great nephews; Dylan and Ian Smith.
She was preceded in death by two brothers; Merlyn Smith and Lyle Smith in infancy; two sisters; Lorna Miller and Sheila Ann Harms.
The family would like to extend a special thank you the the entire staff of Brookside Care Center for all of the special care and compassion given to their Aunt.
Funeral services were held on Monday, November 7, 2011 at The First Methodist Church, followed by interment at Sunset Ridge Memorial Park. Ione loved flowers, but her request was to have donations in her name made to The First United Methodist Church, PEO Scholarship Fund, AAUW Scholarship Fund, Retired Teachers Scholarship Fund or Danish Sisterhood Lodge.