Jeffrey J. Smit Richland Jeffrey Joseph Smit, age 50, died Wednesday evening, January 16, 2013 at his home after a long battle with cancer. Jeff was born on January 26, 1962 in Kalamazoo, MI a son of Herman G. and Judith (Noteboom) Smit and had been a lifelong resident of Richland. In the early 1970's Jeff's parents saw the need for an ambulance and began Gull Lake Ambulance. In 1972, at the age of 14, Jeff began volunteering as dispatcher, and in 1975, at the age of 16, began running EMS calls on the ambulance. As soon as Jeff was able to drive, he began working at the Richland Service Station with his father and eventually took over the business in 1998. Firefighting was Jeff's real passion and he joined Richland Fire Department in 1991, serving for 21 years. He fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a full time firefighter in 2009 when he was hired by the City of Battle Creek, primarily working out of Station #2. He took great joy in volunteering his time and equipment with the Great Lakes Burn Camp. As a young man Jeff began building his vast collection of International Harvester tractors and memorabilia, and passed the attitude of "If it isn't Red, leave it in the shed." on to his children. One of the many things Jeff enjoyed was taking long rides on his 2012 Harley Firefighter edition motorcycle. In 2013, he became a member of the Kalamazoo Fraternal Order of Leatherheads (F.O.O.Ls). Jeff had acquired many friends throughout his lifetime and will fondly be remembered for his generous spirit and his many pig roasts. He was preceded in death by his father, Herm Smit. On August 28, 1999 Jeff was united in marriage with his soul mate, the former Katrina "Katie" A. Lesterhouse, who survives. Also surviving are: two children, Stoffer Smit and Saartje Smit; his mother, Judy Smit of Richland; a brother, Kurt (Stacey) Smit of Delton; Katie's parents, Michael (Claudia) Lesterhouse of Richland; Katie's brothers, Chris Lesterhouse and Mike Lesterhouse, both of Richland; and several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held Saturday, January 26, from 12:00 to 6:00pm at Gracespring Bible Church, 8643 Gull Road where services will be held Sunday, January 27 at 3:00pm, with Pastor Dennis VeenKant, officiating. Interment in Prairie Home Cemetery, Richland, will follow services. A reception at St. Ann Catholic Church, 12648 East D Ave. will follow interment services. In lieu of flowers, please make checks payable to Katrina Smit for Stoffer's and Saartje's future educational needs. Arrangements entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick Street. Please visit Jeff's personalized webpage at www.langelands.com 269-343-1508
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Langeland Family Funeral Homes Memorial Chapel
622 South Burdick Street Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on Jan. 20, 2013