Marcia J. Smith

Marcia J. Smith, age 57, of Dubuque, IA, formerly of Celina, OH, passed away peacefully on December 28, 2022, at Stonehill Care Center after a seven year struggle with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  To honor Marcia, a private celebration of life for family and close friends will be held at a later date.

Marcia was born on February 24, 1965, in Marshalltown, IA, a daughter to Gary and Jeannice (Kopecky) Ramsdell.  She grew up in the Dubuque area, and while attending Hempstead H.S., she developed a love for foreign language through her French teacher Mrs. Bateman. She was able to spend time in France as an exchange student at 17, making life long connections there. Marcia earned her Bachelor’s degree from Central College in Pella, IA, where she majored in French and English, and spent another semester abroad studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. She would later earn her Master’s in Education from Wright State University in Dayton, OH.  Her love for French and foreign languages would eventually lead her to become a teacher, teaching high school French and Spanish for 30 years.  She began her teaching career in Lexington Park, Maryland at Great Mills H.S. where she met her future husband, Charles “Chuck” Smith, an English teacher. They eventually moved to Ohio and both taught at Celina High School for 24 years while raising their daughter Camille. In 2019, Marcia and Chuck moved back to Dubuque to be closer to family.

Marcia was known by her loved ones as warm, thoughtful, witty, generous, and a bit mischievous. She loved her flower gardens, impressionist art, cooking and baking, 80’s new wave music, traveling, British mystery novels, and all things French. She especially loved to send mail to her friends and family for every occasion year-round. Marcia was dedicated to loving those around her through everything she did. Her absence will be felt in our hearts, but the love she instilled in our lives will forever remain. All who knew Marcia were lucky to be touched by her joyful and gentle spirit. We will always cherish the memory of her.

Marcia is survived by her loving husband, Charles “Chuck” Smith, Dubuque, IA; her adored daughter, Camille Smith, Chicago, IL; her siblings, Lynette (Ahmed) Shabana, Naperville, IL; Lea Ann (Tom Lattik) Ramsdell, Baltimore, MD; Gary (Lee-Ann) Ramsdell, Kissimmee FL; Sara (Tom) Goffinet, Dubuque, IA; and Jay (Shauna) Ramsdell, Lenexa, KS; a brother-in-law, Roger Smith, Winchester, OH; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Marcia was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Marcia’s name to your local Alzheimer’s Association, or at

And the family expresses special appreciation to the nurses and direct care staff at the Stonehill Franciscan Services Health Center Memory Unit, the Assisi Village Assisted Living Memory Unit, and at Home Instead Dubuque for their attentive and loving care of Marcia over the last couple of years. It is deeply appreciated.

The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Marcia’s family.

Online condolences may be shared with Marcia’s family at

To honor Marcia, a private celebration of life for family and close friends will be held at a later date.

9 comments on “Marcia J. Smith
  1. Kay and Jerry Smith says:

    Dear Chuck and Camille, we are so sorry for your loss of Marcia, especially at such an early age. We know you will miss her terribly. We send our sympathy. Kaye Smith, CHS, Secretary, and Jerry Smith

  2. Phil Long says:

    Chuck, my sympathy on the passing of Marcia. While I did not know her well, I do remember her support of CEA during some of our trying times. The obituary describes the Marcia I remember – quiet, strong, dedicated, supportive. My hope for you is to remember the wonderful years you had together. Peace, Phil A. Long (fellow educator in Celina)

  3. Kris Winget says:

    Camille, so very sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I didn’t know your mother very well, but I can tell she was a wonderful person simply because she raised a wonderful daughter. I pray that you and your dad can find comfort and peace in your memories of her. K. Winget (your 7th grade English teacher)

  4. Ryan Hertel says:

    When I was a snotty punk rock kid in my senior year at Celina High School, Madame Smith took a particular interest in me, and it will always be something I remember fondly. We’d discuss the Clash and various political/world events, and one time, she approached me with a bumper sticker that she said she thought I’d appreciate. It was a “Free Tibet” sticker. She was also the only high school teacher to send me a letter while I was in college the next year, just to show her support. Very few teachers are cut from the same cloth as Marcia Smith, and I can only hope that there are many other students that, like me, are realizing how lucky they were to be able to learn from her. I’m now a funeral director, and I honestly believe that Madame Smith had a heavy part in developing the compassion and empathy that I rely on daily. To her family and all who loved her, you have my deepest condolences.

  5. Cheryl Davis says:

    It has been awhile since we at the library in Celina has had contact with your family. But you always were nice people! For awhile you were active with local Democrats! I think you stood at a Sunday peace vigil a time or two. And Camille helped at our booth at the fair. Once we had a victory party at your house! Great memories.
    So very very sorry about your loss of Marcia to such a terrible disease. She was a lovely lady. Condolences from Celina to your family.
    Cheryl Davis

  6. Tim O'Donnell says:

    Chuck, Marcia was a kind person. Always felt welcome in your home when we played poker there. I do remember her homemade chocolate cakes. I always loved her sense of humor. Thinking of the good times that were shared. My condolences to you and the family.

  7. Nadana Kelley says:

    I am so sorry for your loss Chuck and Camille. Marcia and I were instant friends at the age of 5. We went to school together we played together and when I moved away at age 10 it broke my heart to miss her. We stayed in touch off and on throughout the years. A piece of my heart is missing. I miss you my friend.

  8. Jill Dull says:

    My sympathy. I enjoyed our many times together – going to Berne, IN and elsewhere for an outing and lunch. We shared a love of the French language. I too majored in French, had studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France and taught French. She was a keen observer of life and politics. I have missed her. I am thankful we met and became friends.

  9. Timothy Allen says:

    So sorry to know of Marcia’s passing. I do not believe that I have a met a more gentle caring soul. She obviously struggled in her latter years with health but I am certain was comforted greatly by her family and friends. I express my deepest condolences to Chuck and Camille. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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