Eurita “Rita” Smith Wheelus, 91, of Cottondale, FL, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, July 30, 2020. She was born and raised in Marianna, FL as one of 8 children of Samuel and Bessie Rebecca Smith. She attended Troy University and then worked in the insurance and banking industries. She met her husband, C.W. Wheelus, while working as secretary to the president of the First Bank of Marianna in 1961. After their wedding they lived in Cottondale, FL where they raised a family and operated the Wheelus Store and Garage on the north end of Cottondale. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Cottondale.
She is survived by her daughter, Amy Wheelus of Dallas, TX; her Grandson, Michael Hood, of Dallas, TX her Step-Son, Ronald Wheelus (Ann) of Lake Placid, FL; and Step-Grandsons Charles “Chuck” Wheelus (Tracie), Sebring, FL; Jeff Wheelus (Jincy), Lake Placid, FL and scores of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, C. W. Wheelus; daughter, Casey Wheelus Hood; parents, Samuel and Bessie Rebecca Smith and siblings, Juanita Smith Peacock (Broward); Hinton Smith (Betty); John Smith (Boots); Howard Smith (Monette); Calvin Smith (Helen); Deane Smith Slater (Jack); and Mary Inez Smith McElvey (Joe).
Special thanks to the caregiving staff of Marianna Health and Rehabilitation Center for the loving care that they provided during the last years of her life and to the Jackson Hospital caregiving staff.
A graveside service will be held at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale Cemetery at 10AM CDT on August 3, 2020. In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial donations be made to the United Methodist Children’s Home at 3140 Zelda Court, Suite 100, Montgomery, Alabama 36106-2607 or Venmo @unitedmethodistchildrenshome.
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