Elnora Rouch Smiley Burton, 92, of Rochester, passed away on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at her residence.
On August 19, 1929, Elnora was born in Grass Creek to Loyd and Ruth Pownall Rouch. Growing up she shared her childhood with two sisters. As a child she loved reading and learning. Thus, she was promoted from 1st to 3rd grade for her stellar academic excellence. In 6th grade, Elnora's family moved to Rochester. She continued her schooling at Rochester and was a proud member of the Rochester High School class of 1946, graduating at age 16.
Elnora and Ray Smiley were married on February 27, 1947. From their union three wonderful children were born. At the age of 36, she started college at Manchester College and earned a teaching degree. Mrs. Smiley taught at Caston Elementary School.
As a mother, Elnora was very athletic and encouraged her family to be active. This included bike rides, horseback riding, showing horses, ice skating and roller skating. She was an avid bowler until her mid-eighties. She liked aerobics and water aerobics. Going to Indiana Beach with the grandchildren and family vacations were special times where many memories were made. She was a Cub Scout Den mother and a Brownie Troop leader.
In 1985, Elnora married Bryce M. Burton. They lived in Redington Beach, Florida and enjoyed watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico for 20 years, until his death. Together, they became seasoned travelers, exploring the world on four-month cruises to exotic places. She climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, walked the Great Wall, kissed the Blarney Stone, rode an ostrich, elephant and camel. Golfing was a passion that she and Bryce shared. They made many memories playing golf at Dubai, Seychelles, Mexico and St. Andrews, Scotland among others. She liked African Safaris, and climbing Jacob’s Ladder in St. Helena, an island near Australia.
Elnora was a proud member of the Circumnavigators Club since 1988. This distinction was bestowed for traveling the Seven Seas of the world. Her other memberships include Trinity United Methodist Church, the women's auxiliaries of Elks, Moose, Eagles Lodges, Tri-Kappa, all of Rochester, Lyford Cay Country Club in Nassau, Bahamas and Belleair Country Club in Belleair, FL.
As an accomplished pianist, Elnora loved to play her baby grand piano. It was a part of her daily routine until she moved to Wynnfield. At Wynnfield, she enjoyed bingo, Bible study, social hour, exercise class and walking.
Left to cherish Elnora's memory are her children, Corinne Pickens and husband Monte of Rochester, Rae Ann Roberts and husband Gary of New Castle, Mark Smiley and wife Jayne of Rochester. Her blended family includes Ann Furnivall and husband Steve of Rochester, Linda Hatch of Indianapolis, Nanci Cummings of Indianapolis, Kathy Burton of Idaho, Suzy Arnold and husband Jeff of Nashville, IN, Becky Burton of Colorado; 22 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren with another due this month.
Preceding Elnora in death are her parents, husband Bryce, granddaughter Kristen Smiley, two sisters, Annabelle Clary and Doveda Showley.
In honoring Elnora's wishes, a private family celebration of life was held. Pastor Jeff Herron officiated.
The Good Family Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Fulton County Animal Adoption & Education Center 1540 Wentzel Street, Rochester, Indiana 46975 or Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 8445 Keystone Crossing Ste. 135, Indianapolis, IN 46240-0020.
Online expressions of sympathy may be made to her family at www.goodfamilyfh.com