Juanita Anna Smith was born on February 19, 1929 in Des Moines, Iowa to Ina L. Powers and Lawrence R. Smith. She spent the last several weeks of her life at her daughter’s home where she died on April 21, 2021 at the age of 92.
After graduating from Lincoln High School and attending music school at Drake University in Des Moines, Juanita, along with her parents and her five siblings, moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1947 for her father to work in management at the Hawaii Newspaper Agency. There Juanita met and married Philip Zeiler in 1950. Philip, originally from Toledo, Ohio, was also an employee with the Hawaii Newspaper Agency. Juanita worked as a dress department salesperson at Liberty House in Waikiki until 1964, after the births of her children, Mari Ann and Timothy. Later, Juanita worked as an administrative assistant at Star of the Sea Schools until she retired at age 65.
Juanita was a loving and caring wife to Philip who, despite a significant chronic medical condition, lived to be 83. Juanita and Philip were selfless and devoted parents and grandparents. In 2018, Juanita moved to Columbia, Missouri, to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. She had been a resident of The Neighborhoods where she received excellent care.
Juanita will be remembered as incredibly optimistic, courageous and grateful even in the most negative circumstances. She brought joy and warmth to all around her. Despite her declining health, Juanita was always gracious and kind, and she retained a love of music and singing almost to the very end. She is and will always be an inspiration to her family and will be dearly missed.
Juanita is survived by her son, Timothy P. Zeiler, of Honolulu, Hawaii, her daughter, Dr. Mari Ann Z. Keithahn, son-in-law Dr. Stephen T. Keithahn, and grandchildren-Harrison, Helen, Hope, and Hazel Keithahn, all of Columbia, Missouri.
A private memorial service will be held in Carlisle, IA later this year. The family suggests memorials be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Arrangements are under the direction of Parker-Millard Funeral Service & Crematory, 12 East Ash Street, Columbia, MO 65203 (573) 449-4153. Condolences may be left online for the family at www.parkermillard.com.
Notice #: 0001326796-01