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Eugene Smith

October 10, 1920 ~ June 4, 2018 (age 97)

Eugene Wilbur Smith was born October 10, 1920 in Watervliet, MI where he lived and graduated from high school. He attended what is now Western Michigan University until the outbreak of WWII.  Gene joined the United States Army Air Corp and became an Officer and Pilot.  During the war Gene was a flight instructor.  When the war ended, Gene resumed his studies at Western, where he met and married Avis Slaughter.  Gene graduated with a teaching degree.  His first teaching job was with the Dowagiac Schools.  Later he taught in Grand Rapids and eventually went into education administration.  In the late 1950’s, with a growing family, Gene changed careers and became a successful insurance agent with AAA of Michigan in Grand Rapids.  In 1963 Gene was promoted to manager of the new Big Rapids office.  In 1968 Gene was made manager of the Jackson office.  During his life time, Gene enjoyed officiating High School sports.  Gene retired from AAA in 1983 and he and Avis settled in Kalamazoo and later in Grand Rapids.  Gene enjoyed golf, fishing and his grandchildren.  Gene and Avis spent winters in Bradenton Florida.  Gene left us on June 4, 2018 at the age of 97.  A life well lived.  Gene was preceded in death by his Mother and Father, Etha and Wilbur Smith, his brother Eldon Smith (Ruth), Sister Natalie Parrett (Harry).  Gene is survived by the love of his life for 71 years, Avis, daughter, Judi Sack (Ron) of Big Rapids, son Scott Smith (Candy) of Kalamazoo, daughter Debbie Metcalf (John) of Lansing, son Tim Smith (Michele) of Pheonix, AZ.  Gene also leaves 9 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews all of whom he loved and enjoyed.  The family would like to give a special thanks to the caring staff at Samaritas.  A memorial service will be held to celebrate Gene’s life on Thursday June 28, 2018 at 1 pm at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 4291 Cascade Rd. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.


Donations may be made to:

Alzheimer's Association
25200 Telegraph Road, Suite 100, Southfield MI 48033-7443
Tel: 1-616-459-4588
Web: http://www.alz.org/


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