Michael E. Smith
SPRINGFIELD - Michael E. Smith, 68, of Springfield, died at 9:35 a.m. on Sunday, June 23, 2013, at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Fla.
Michael was born November 26, 1944, in Monmouth, Ill.
Mike grew up in the small farm town of Monmouth, Illinois, where hard work and the importance of family were instilled early. His mother, Ann Kenan Smith, made great personal sacrifices in order to send her children to college. At the University of Notre Dame, Mike was a proud member of the marching band, playing trombone in Notre Dame Stadium on football Saturdays. While pursuing advanced studies in Denver, he met the love of his life, Nancy Root, and the two married.
Soon after, the couple moved to Springfield, where Mike worked as a loan officer at Illinois National Bank. Mike and Nancy joined the local Catholic parish, Blessed Sacrament, and began building their family on Glenwood Avenue. In 1980, Mike joined Tom Lange Co., a produce brokerage, where he remained for 33 years, helping build the company into an international business. However, Mike's greatest joy was spending time with family, especially his eight grandchildren, who called him Grampy, and his extended family of nieces, nephews and neighbors, who often called him Uncle Buzzy Bee. He had a unique sense of humor, a knack for inventing and doling out nicknames, and a penchant for whimsy that was contagious. His ability to wrestle a smile out of anyone was legendary. As a longtime resident of Springfield, Mike served on a number of boards and worked on behalf of several organizations. He enjoyed attending Notre Dame football games with his family, and hosting large tailgate parties for his many Springfield and N.D. friends. Above all, Mike pursued life with a joyful, welcoming, and come-one-come-all zeal. He touched many lives in Springfield and beyond.
He was preceded in death by his mother.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy Root Smith of Springfield; four children, Kelly (husband, Robert) Mizeur of Springfield, Ryan (wife, Tennaly Fortier) Smith of New York, N.Y., Kathleen (husband, Reagan) Hogerty of LaGrange, Ill., and Michael Smith of Chicago; eight grandchildren, Mary Clare, Anne, Rowan, and Theodore Mizeur, Kenan and Clayton Smith, and Jack and Patrick Hogerty; sister, Judith (husband, Ralph) Templin of Spring Branch, Texas; two sisters-in-law, Marcia Jensen of Indianapolis, Ind., and Karen Larkin Johnson of Grand Beach, Mich.; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation: Family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2013 at Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield. Visitation will begin with a prayer service.
Concelebrated Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2013, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1725 S. Walnut St., Springfield, with Rev. Jeff Grant and Rev. Chris Comerford, celebrants.
Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Michael E. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund at Blessed Sacrament School, 748 W. Laurel Street, Springfield, Illinois 62704.
Please visit butlerfuneralhomes.com to offer your condolences.