Herbert J. Smith Sr., 86
July 28, 1929 — Feb. 28, 2016
Born July 28, 1929, Herbert J. Smith Sr. passed peacefully on Feb. 28, 2016.
Herb was one of four children (Evelyn, Jean, Herb and Jerry) born to Arch and Ruth Smith of Jerome. He graduated from North Adams High School before joining the US Navy.
He later joined the US Air Force, where he served with the Strategic Air Command. While in the USAF, he met and married Seabie C. Lewis. Herb attended Hillsdale College and graduated from TriState University in Angola Ind.
(now Trine University) with a BS in electrical engineering. Herb and Seabie had three children – Herb Jr., Betsy and Michael. As an electrical engineer, Herb was heavily involved in the development and promotion of the servo electric motor industry and worked for Inland Motors (Radford, Va.), Jordan Controls (Racine) and Allen Bradley (Milwaukee). After Seabie’s passing on Feb. 27, 1996, in Wisconsin, Herb returned to Michigan after attending his 50th year class reunion, where he spied his high school sweetheart Barbara Draper Hoffman across the room. Barb and Herb were married May 11, 1997, and they shared the remaining years together in Hillsdale.
Herb is survived by his wife Barb; his daughter Betsy Smith (Cindy) of Seattle; son, Michael Smith (Sandy) of Saukville; and daughter-in-law, Sharon Garth Smith of Newport News, Va. Herb was preceded in death by Seabie Smith and by his eldest son, Herbert J. Smith Jr., who passed on June 24, 2015. He was the proud Pop Pop to Arch Smith, Christopher Smith, Paige Smith, Jennifer Smith, Sarah Smith, AJ Smith, Gretchen Lilly and Branson Hicks.
He is great-grandpa to 10 great-grandchildren. When Barb and Herb married, he was embraced by Barbara’s family and was Grandpa to Brendan Hoffman, Heather Hoffman and Lorraine Hoffman. When Herb married Barb, her son Jeff Hoffman (Barbie) and Sarah Hoffman Hicks (Jerry) joined the Smith family.
Herb was actively involved in North Adams United Methodist Church, where he served on the church council and also acted in many plays and skits at the church. He truly loved hamming it up for his church family. He led a full, enriching life touching the lives of everyone he met. Over the years, Herb was involved in golf, bowling, woodworking and fishing. Seabie and Herb worked with the youth at their church in Cedarburg, where they went on a number of service missions. Barb and Herb enjoyed touring the Pacific Northwest, taking in the changing leaf colors in New England, and visiting friends and family in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Florida.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hampton-Kurtz Funeral Homes. Visitation will be Thursday, March 3, 2016, at North Adams United Methodist Church (228 E. Main St., North Adams, MI 49262) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The funeral will take place on Friday, March 4, 2016, with additional visitation from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and funeral service at 3 p.m. If you wish to make a donation in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the American Heart Association or to research fighting pancreatic cancer.