Joan Ellen (Bechtold) Smith

June 9, 1934 ~ August 5, 2019 (age 85)


Joan Bechtold Smith, 85, of Indianapolis, passed from this world August 5, 2019. She was born on June 9, 1934 in Huntington, IN, daughter of Merlin and Mildred Bone Bechtold.  She and her family moved to Indianapolis at a young age. Joan was a graduate of Broad Ripple High School and Butler University.  Joan was very active in every high school class reunion with the most recent being the 65th reunion.  Through the years, Joan remained good friends with many of her classmates.  

Active in gardening and swimming, Joan served as President of Hillcrest Garden Club and President of the Indianapolis Athletic Club Dolphins.  She published School #84’s newspaper for several years when it was printed on a hand cranked mimeograph machine.  Serving as a Sunday School teacher at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, Joan touched many lives. In 1973 she was Treasurer of an ad hoc committee that successfully saved the historic Indianapolis Marion County Library main reading room from being bisected into 2 levels in an expansion effort.

Joan was diagnosed with debilitating Multiple Sclerosis in 1980.  She never complained but persevered in enjoying the people she cared for the most, her family and friends. Whether attending grandchildren’s sporting events and musical events, the annual July 4th Celebration at Meridian Hills Country Club, or traveling to St. Louis to cheer on her beloved Chicago Cubs, Joan continued to embrace her life with grace and dignity.

Her family is thankful for the many home health care providers who tenderly cared for Joan during the last several years.

In addition to her parents, Joan was preceded in death by her former husband, Gordon Smith, and sister, Janet Malson.

Survivors include son, Gordon (Mary Ann) Smith of Westfield; daughter, Linda (Greg) Tatum of Carmel; ten grandchildren: Eric, Sr. Maria Clare, Matthew, Peter, Angela, Monica, Nicholas, and Evan Smith; Madeline and Emily Tatum; ten great-grandchildren: Addison, Gabriel, Alex, Eli and Olivia Smith, Liam, Matthew, Maggie, and Patrick Smith, and Benjamin Liriano; and brother, David (Connie) Bechtold.

Family and friends will gather on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 from 11am til 1pm at East 91st Street Christian Church, Indianapolis (Fireside Room). 

A Committal Service will follow at 3 pm in Carmel Cemetery, 1000 N. Rangeline Road, Carmel. (Please be advised of the construction on 136th Street enroute to Carmel Cemetery)

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations in Joan’s memory be given to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 3500 Depauw Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN  46268.  Envelopes will be available at the church.

Bussell Family Funerals is privileged to assist the family with arrangements.


August 13, 2019

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
East 91st Street Christian Church
6049 East 91 st Street
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Committal Service
August 13, 2019

3:00 PM
Carmel Cemetery
1000 N Rangeline Road
Carmel, IN 46032


National Multiple Sclerosis Society
3500 DePauw Blvd, Indianapolis IN 46268
Web: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Donate

© 2020 Bussell Family Funerals. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA