Joe Smith

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Joe B. Smith

The family of Joe B. Smith is sad to announce his passing Saturday March 1, 2014 at Good Samaritan Hospice Residence, where he was attentively and compassionately cared for the last week of his life.  Joe also known as Dody was born September 27, 1927 in Bluffton, IN to Ralph and Florence (Twigg) Smith and came to Battle Creek with his siblings shortly after his birth.  A child of the depression, Joe was a man with exemplary work ethics, extraordinary compassion and boundless love and gratitude.  He was gentle yet strong and steady as he faced the challenges in his life.  Joe married Vivian Lepper in 1945 in Battle Creek where they raised their three children, eight grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.  He loved his family, his motorcycle, bowling, cards, and roller skating and singing with the kids. He looked forward to warm weather and water skiing in his younger years.   Joe supported his family by working for the United Steel and Wire Company for 47 years, retiring in 1991.  His years and knowledge were a blessing to the company.  He enjoyed the retiree lunches and was a member of the Sons of the American Legion.

Joe is survived by his daughters, Jo Ann (John) Byrd, of Battle Creek and Jerrie (David) Burns, of Glenda, Arizona, eight grandchildren, Robert Smith, Amber Lindsay, Angela Ramirez, Michael Barney, and Bill Plane, Carla Smith, Lori Cox and Patty Barney.  He will also be missed by 17 great grandchildren, a sister, Emma Louise Granata, of Jacksonville, FL  In 2005 Joe lost his wife after nearly 60 years of marriage.  He started a new chapter of his life with his new love and companion Donna Thayer and her daughters, Phylis McQuern, Dixie Neubert, Linda Trejo, Vicki Jansen , Jill Vought, Georgia Digman and Charlotte Fusco.  He traveled and entertained, made wine, and spread his love to his new family.  Joe is also survived by his special nephew, John (Artie) Smith of Athens.  He was preceded in death by his wife Vivian, a son, Joe W. Smith, a sister Rowena Thayer, a brother, John Smith.

The family will receive friends Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Bachman Hebble Funeral Service, 223 N. Bedford Rd.   Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.  Memorials may be given to the Lifespan Good Samaritan Hospice.  Please visit Joe's webpage at

Funeral Home
Bachman Hebble Funeral Service
223 Bedford Rd N
Battle Creek, MI 49037
(269) 965-5145
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Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on Mar. 4, 2014
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