Cover photo for Lois Kay Smith's Obituary
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1943 Lois 2023

Lois Kay Smith

January 23, 1943 — January 23, 2023

Peoria, formerly Galesburg

Lois K Smith, 80, of Peoria Illinois, died on January 23, 2023 at River Crossing in Peoria Illinois. Born on January 23, 1943 in Chicago Illinois to the late Henry and Marcia (Erd) Huisman, she married John (Big John) Smith on May 19th, 1963 in Peoria, Il and celebrated 50 fabulous years together. John Preceded her in death on Nov 3rd, 2013.

She is survived by her sons Rick (Mindy) Smith of Ladd, IL, Jon Smith of Peoria, IL: Sisters Marcy (Don) Toomey of Las Cruces NM, Linda (Gene Brown) Huisman of Normal IL; and 4 grandchildren Jonna, Mark, Bryce, and Braxton

Lois was born in the Chicago area. Moved to Peoria at a young age where she grew up and resided for many years. She graduated Richwood’s High School and attended Hope College in Holland, MI and then Midstate College in Peoria, Il. She was a bartender and server for many years in various places including Peoria Country Club and Creve Coeur Club. Her husband Big John Smith was a prominent musician for many years in the Peoria area. (Big John and the Mark IV, Big John and the Freedom Brothers)Together Big John and Lois became well known and respected as successful business owners. They owned and operated many nightclubs through the years in Peoria and in Galesburg Il where they moved in the 1980’s. The most notable being Big Johns on Grand Ave in Galesburg, Il. Together they would run and work their business. Lois tending bar and Big John with his band on stage. This Partnership helped them achieve their success. Throughout her years in business many of the patrons became lifelong friends and affectionately just called Lois, “Mom”. Once they retired from Business ownership she worked for Shell Oil, then Big Lots as the assistant manager for many years until she retired permanently.

She enjoyed the slot machines so they made several trips to the casino’s. She enjoyed playing Pool and Darts with the many friends she had in Galesburg. She also adored and enjoyed spending times with her Grandchildren.


Cremation rites have been accorded and there will be no services at this time. Cards can be sent from and condolences left at illinicremation.com. Donations can be made to St. Jude as she was a lifelong supporter.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Lois Kay Smith, please visit our flower store.

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