Kermit Smith
1947 - 2016
Kermit Teslee "Chief" Smith Jr

Kermit Teslee "Chief" Smith Jr, 68, formally of Lansing, passed away from complication of diabetes on September 4, 2016. Kermit was born to Madonia (Hurst) and Kermit T. Smith, Sr. of Baytown, TX on October 28, 1947. Kermit excelled at sports in high school playing football, basketball and  track. He attended Michigan State University on football scholarship; lettering on the Varsity team in 1968-1971. He was also a member of the 67-68 track team and pledged Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Delta Kappa chapter. He graduated MSU with a Bachelor of Science in Parks & Recreation; Community Services.

As a student at MSU, Kermit met and married his wife of 46 years, Mary Jane Hanna-Smith. After graduation Kermit started on his 33 years of working with the State of Michigan in the Department of Corrections and Department of Social Services.

Kermit's love for sports, family and community continue throughout his life as a coach, player and dedicated spectator. Kermit coached many boys and girl's youth programs including football, soccer, basketball and track. Kermit also played city league football, volleyball and softball, semi-pro football, recreational tennis and basketball. Kermit's loyalty to Michigan State University continue as he cheered on every sport often attending games, matches and meets across the country. He also enjoyed traveling to watch horse racing.

Kermit's greatest passion was his family. He loved family gatherings and attending events with his family. He is survived by his wife Mary Jane Hanna-Smith; daughters, Keri (James) Muton, Tamara (Paul) Harvey,  Jameka (Matthew) Brachel; grandchildren Dominique and Paul A Harvey, Jordan and Kandace Mouton, Anthony Brachel; his sisters, Annetta Smith Grevenberg, Ethel C. Smith; 12 nieces and nephews; many in-laws and extended family members. Kermit was preceded in death by his parents, brother Jerome Smith; mother and father in-law, Maude and Harold Hanna; and niece, Leticia Grevenberg.

A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held Sunday, September 25 2016 @ 12 PM at the University Club of MSU, 3435 Forest Rd., Lansing, MI 48909. Memorial contributions may be made to American Diabetes Association or a Community Youth group.

Published by Lansing State Journal on Sep. 18, 2016.
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Celebration of Life
University Club of MSU
3435 Forest Rd.,, Lansing, MI
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11 Entries
Richard Lindsay
September 12, 2019
It has been a year now since you left us to go HOME, just want you to know we all love and miss you, think of you and your brother Jerome often,always in my you. J
ulie Reynolds
September 30, 2017

Kermit was an awesome man and friend .
he would talk of his daughters and grandchildren with joy and pride in his voice and a smile on his face. I've know Chief for several years, he is a warm, caring true friend who was for REAL all the time , we could talk about anything and everything and he would listen. About 1976 he took my son, David and his buddy to a Tigers baseball game in Detroit where the boys were able to meet players and they signed the baseballs for David and Mike, the boys loved it. I never heard Kermit complain regarding all that he went through and what he was going through with the diabetes; various operations, dialysis seizures , rehab. Kermit was a true warrior, a Spartan on the football field and in life.
We love and miss you Chief.

Julie Reynolds
julie reynolds
September 28, 2016
Dear Jane and family,
Our deepest condolences to you and your family.

May Kermit rest in peace, and rise in Glory..., 1 Corinthians 15:42-43 --


Ken (Brick) and Arlena Hines
Arlena Hines
September 26, 2016
I was thev equipment manager when Cgirf became a player and we kept in touch for several yeaers. Great person and a great friend of Troy Hickman my former assistant.
September 20, 2016
When I went to MSU, Chief was one of the first people I met as we both lived on the same floor in Wonders Hall. Throughout college and for many years after I had the privilege of a lot of good times and adventures with Kermit. Later when I moved away from MI, I would always make it a point to try to catch up with him if I was at a football or basketball game just so I could keep up with what he was up to. I know the next time I get to Spartan Stadium I will unconsciously start looking for him but then remember he is in a better place now.

Chief, it was an honor to be your friend.
Mark Collatz
September 19, 2016
When I came to MSU, Chief was one of the first people I met as we lived on the same floor in Wonders Hall. Through those years and many after we shared a lot of adventures and good times. Later after I moved away from MI if I got back to MSU for a football or basketball game he was one person I would always try to catch up with him. I will miss him and think about him a lot the next time I go to Spartan Stadium but I also know he is in a better place now.

It was a honor to be his friend. Rest in peace, Chief.
Mark Collatz
September 19, 2016
R.I.P Kermit Jr you will always remembered
September 19, 2016
My deepest condolences to the family. I had the pleasure of working with Kermit he was a very nice guy. When talking to him I found out when he was a student at Michigan State he worked with my mother. And he remembered her. So my prayers are with you all. Lola Waters
Lola Waters
September 18, 2016
R.I.P. Kermit, suffering no will always be my HERO
September 18, 2016
I am so sorry. Kermit was a great guy. I remenber the great softball games we played in the city league. He was always a lot of fun to be around.
Richard Lindsay
September 18, 2016
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