Mildred “DeeDee” (Lauter) Smith, 80, of Brenham, passed away on March 6, 2021. Viewing will be from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm on Tuesday, March 9, at Memorial Oaks Chapel. The funeral services will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday, March 10, also at Memorial Oaks Chapel, with burial following at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Cemetery in Gay Hill. Pastor Skip Stutts will officiate.
Mildred Lauter, who would later be given the nickname “DeeDee”, was born on May 18, 1940 in Brenham to parents Joe and Sadie (Brandstetter) Lauter. She grew up in town and graduated from Brenham High School in 1958. As a young woman she was employed by Hohlt’s Department Store in downtown Brenham as a clerk and bookkeeper. In the early 60’s, DeeDee was spending a night out on the town with some girlfriends in Houston when she met her future husband Donald Smith.
DeeDee and Donald were married on March 9, 1963. They enjoyed a wonderful life together and were blessed with two children, Lisa and Scotty. Donald’s career in the Coast Guard took them many places, including a stint in Hawaii that they loved. After returning to the mainland, Donald started his own business, Brenham Welding Supply, and for ten years he and DeeDee operated it. DeeDee was the bookkeeping and billing department all in one.
DeeDee was a loving and caring wife, Mom, Nana, and a friend to many. DeeDee was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church at Gay Hill, the Gay Hill Fire Dept., and the Gay Hill Sons of Hermann. In recent years DeeDee had been enjoying retirement by playing card games with friends, taking trips with Donald to Louisiana to visit their favorite casinos, and relaxing in her recliner with her poodle, Willie. DeeDee had a great love for music, especially the country classics like Gene Watson and Merle Haggard. She and Donald loved taking long drives in the country enjoying the scenery, and DeeDee would be singing along to the radio the whole way. She never missed an airing of Molly B or Big Joe’s Polka Show.
DeeDee is survived by her husband of 58 years, Donald; son Scotty and wife Vicki Smith of the Gay Hill Community, daughter Lisa and husband Daniel Krolczyk of Chappell Hill; grandchildren Brittney, Gunnar, and Quinton Smith; sister-in-law Karen Lauter; nieces and nephews Curtis and Marlene Rodenbeck, Debbie (Rodenbeck) and husband Mike Brau, Amanda Lauter and friend Blake Hickerson, and great-nieces and great-nephews.
DeeDee is preceded in death by sister Martha (Lauter) Rodenbeck; brother Gerald Lauter; parents Joe and Sadie Lauter; parents-in-law AW and Ann Smith; brother-in-law Melvin Rodenbeck; nephews Reggie Rodenbeck, Edward McLendon; niece Melissa (Lauter) Stokes.
Pallbearers will be Mike Brau, Gunnar Smith, Curtis Rodenbeck, Quinton Smith, and James Reaves. Honorary pallbearers will be Brittney Smith, Abby Brau, Brenda Muy, Dillion McLendon, Matt McLendon, Cullen Rodenbeck, Brooke Rodenbeck, and the Kelm Store Bunch.
If you’d like to make a donation in memory of DeeDee, please consider a donation to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Gay Hill.