Michelle Marie Scholastica (Stueve) Smith, 54, of Overland Park, Kan., raced into the arms of the Lord on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, after a courageous battle with melanoma cancer. After first being diagnosed in April 2010, Michelle, family and friends rallied the troops for an epic battle that ultimately led her to the Pearly Gates of heaven. Her ever-expanding Prayer Warrior Brigade was inspired by Michelle’s unwavering faith and courage. She will be remembered as one who changed lives for the better. A gift from God that can never be repaid directly, but will be passed on to others. She was indeed a good and faithful servant of the Lord. Michelle was born on July 9, 1957, in Grand Rapids, Minn., to Leo (a.k.a. Corky) and Molle (Demarais) Stueve. She graduated from St. Ann’s Catholic School (1971), Bishop Miege High School (1975) and Benedictine College (1979). She was a physical education teacher at Queen of the Holy Rosary (1979-1995) where she taught children the love of movement and exercise, whether that was football, wrestling, track or dance. No activity was off limits as she made everything fun for the kids. She was also a JV Volleyball coach with her friend Gwenn Pike at Bishop Miege, as well as a club and CYO volleyball coach for many years. After retiring from teaching, Michelle became active with Community Bible Study (C.B.S.) first as a participant, then part of the leadership team including prayer chair, and was in charge of the recreational activities for the children of the C.B.S. moms. “Miss Michelle” was so good at including biblical themes and teaching Bible verses to the kids during their recreational activities that the national C.B.S. organization documented and distributed Michelle’s ideas to local chapters across the country. Michelle was preceded in death by her brother, Daniel Francis. She is survived by Paul, her loving husband of 27 years; children, Maggie, Patrick and Molly who assisted in her daily care with love, devotion and compassion; parents, Corky and Molle Stueve (KC); brothers, Michael Stueve (New Orleans), Patrick Stueve and wife Janna (KC), David Stueve and wife Carlene (Salina, Kan.); sisters, Therese and husband Ed Sims (Albuquerque, NM), Jean Marie and husband Bob Loggins (KC), Bernadette and husband Mike Maddock (KC), and Anne Marie Stueve (KC). She also leaves behind Paul’s family who viewed Michelle as a daughter and sister as well, Papa Dan Smith (KC); brothers, Mark Smith (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Jim and wife Mary Anne Smith (St. Paul, Minn.); sisters, Susan and husband Mike Wilmore (KC) and Jan Dumay and husband Dave Dumay (KC). She leaves behind 20 nieces and nephews by blood, as well as Tara and Drew Mescher’s (Monticello, Iowa) children, Mara, Andrew, Cora and Kendra who claim Aunt Michelle as their very own. In addition, Michelle leaves behind Cristian Neftali Ruch Perez, a sponsored child since 1998 in Guatemala. Michelle never failed to send Cristian birthday, Easter and Christmas gifts. Michelle’s love of the Lord was first in her heart, and that allowed her to love everyone in her life to the fullest. She never met a stranger, always made sure newcomers felt included in the group, and didn’t have an enemy in the world. She will be missed here on earth, but her spirit and love of God will be felt for eternity. All those who love Michelle will look forward to seeing her again in Heaven where we are sure she will be on the welcoming committee. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the following caregivers who made Michelle and the family as comfortable as possible during our journey: Tara Mescher, Diane Jansen, sisters, Bernadette, Jean Marie and Therese, Janna Stueve, Sherlyn Bain, and Janet Slaven. We will always be grateful. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 71st and Metcalf, Overland Park, KS 66204. Burial in Resurrection Cemetery, Lenexa, Kan., followed by lunch back at the church. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2, at the church. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, sponsoring a child through CFCA, or to the charity of your choice . Online condolences may be left atwww.caringbridge.org/visit/michellesmith3/guestbook or at www.signaturefunerals.com. Assistance by Funeral Advocates. Arr.: Signature Funerals, 8019 State Line Road, KCMO (816) 214-5174. www.signaturefunerals.com S
Published in Kansas City Star on January 1, 2012