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Michael J. Smith Sr.

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Michael J. Smith Sr. Obituary
Smith, Michael J. Sr.
Passed away peacefully 2-24-16, age 71. He is survived by beloved wife Mary, children Moira (Josh), Michael Jr. (Laura), Mark (Julie), Martin (Kristine), Meggan (Justin), grandkids Justin, Geneva, Sarah, Michael III, Ashley, Nolen and Kaelyn, and sisters Julie (Bill) and Mary. Mike was born in Rockford, IL, son of Leo & Helen Smith. He enjoyed a rambunctious childhood, filled with the shenanigans of a good Irish lad. He solicited his first job at a young age, packing grocery store potatoes. During summer visits to a family farm, he learned to spin his trademark blarney. Mike's smarts led him to Marquette University, where he earned an MBA and met the love of his life. Mike recognized Mary as "the one" on first sight; Mike & Mary married in 1966 and settled in Milwaukee, WI. Soon Mike became a loving father. While transmitting his strong work ethic, he also had fun with his kids…always supporting their school and community involvement, along with development of individual interests. Family vacations highlighted Mike's enjoyment of camping, hiking and fishing. Mike provided well for his family. His career launched from Schlitz Brewery sales to top banking roles including Great Western Bank. Shifting to consulting, Mike moved the family to CA and then AZ, where he bought WestGroup Marketing Research and became a successful business owner. The top achievement of Mike's career involved developing, marketing and selling the revolutionary business software program ACquire with his team. Retiring, Mike & Mary traveled extensively. In addition to widespread family visits, favorite destinations included Hawaii, Colorado, California, Maine, Scotland, Ireland, and the Czech Republic. Mike also became an award-winning author, aptly learning the arts of writing and publishing. Mike's books, including the Kevin Murphy series and two Hounded titles, reflected his interests in Irish folklore, family history, computers and faith. Mike's faith was important to him. Everyone who knew him recognized his solid Christian values. Mike generously, consistently strove to follow Jesus' example to "love one another". Mike's Mass of Resurrection will be at Church of the Ascension in Fountain Hills, AZ on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 10 am. Interment to follow at Holy Redeemer Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, family suggests a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul: 12615 N. Fountain Hills Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268, or to the National Parkinson Foundation: 200 SE 1st St. Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or www.parkinson.org.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Apr. 10, 2016
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