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Rosel McCandless Smith

September 16, 1928 ~ November 15, 2021 (age 93)


Rosel McCandless Smith, 93, of Mediapolis, died at 6:09 AM Monday, November 15, 2021, at the Azria Health Care Center in Mediapolis.

Born September 16, 1928, in Bieber, West Germany, she was the daughter of Kilian Willibald and Theresia  Schrodt Kohl. She married John J. McCandless in Offenbach, am Main Germany at Castle Offenbach. They later divorced. She then married Kenneth Smith who died on September 8,1990.

She completed general schooling and trade school in Bieber, and Offenbach am Main, West Germany. 

Rosel came to the United States as a war bride, she and her parents suffered many hardships during the war but she kept on. She was determined to bring her parents to the United States which she accomplished. Determined to become a U.S. citizen which she accomplished, the presiding judge said she had more knowledge of the U.S. Government and history than he did as she rattled off the answers to her test. 

She was a past officer of the Women of the Moose and the International Friendship Club. The best experiences and happiest times in Rosel's life was when she was ballroom dancing and/or singing, it always brought her joy and a beautiful smile to her face. Her love of singing came at an early age, at age 6 she would grab a little stool, climb upon it and put on a performance for friends and neighbors of her family. The love of dancing started at age 14 and by the age of 16 she was a ballroom dancing instructor (which Rosel continued to be throughout her life). Because of the horrifying part of her childhood we believe the dancing and singing was therapeutic healing for her. Rosel sang in the officer's club periodically during her husband's military stint and used to sing and dance for the residents at Klein's hospital once a month when it was located on Madison Avenue. She loved dancing at the Moose, Steamboat Senior Center, Oktoberfest, and Eagles. We are sure she is singing and dancing with Jesus and the angels in heaven! 

Rosel loved to play her game from Germany "don't get mad" she played from childhood till the day before her stroke, she loved to play Bingo. Rosel also had a love for business, sales and fashion (still to her death) so after trade school, that was the path she chose. Rosel loved to travel and spent two years living in Japan when her husband was stationed there. She took a Caribbean cruise at the age of 81 and had many trips to Europe during her life. 

Rosel was a wonderful mom, grandma, mother-in-law, and friend. She was a great cook, loved to laugh as she loved life, her children and spouses, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. She attended Zion United Church of Christ for many years but came to New Life Family Church through being chosen by their youth group. She absolutely loved her church family and the Lord, her Savior.

Survivors include her children, John McCandless and Marika (Steve) Nunnikoven; five grandchildren, John (Myla), Mic, Cora (Steve), Heather (Sadrac), Rachel (Aaron); twelve great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents and a daughter-in-law, Gayle McCandless.

Visitation will be from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM Monday, November 22, 2021 at New Life Family Church, where the family will receive friends.

The funeral service for Mrs. Smith will be 2:00 PM Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at New Life Family Church with Pastor Richard Dutzer officiating.  Burial will be in Aspen Grove Cemetery.  

To send flowers to Rosel's family, please visit our floral store.


November 22, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
New Life Family Church
13267 Highway 61
Burlington, IA 52601

Funeral Service
November 23, 2021

2:00 PM
New Life Family Church
13267 Highway 61
Burlington, IA 52601

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