Richard Smith
1922 - 2020

Smith, Richard C. "Dick"

SALINE, Mich. - Richard C. Smith, formerly of Naperville, Ill., passed away Dec. 10, 2020, in Saline, Mich.

Born to Charles and Lucille (Jerred) Smith on Nov. 26, 1922, in Pardeeville, Wis., Dick was one of eight children.

He graduated from Pardeeville High School in 1940 where he excelled in athletics. His love for sports and the influence of his coaches and teachers inspired Dick to become an educator and a coach himself, a role in which he could make a difference in the lives of young athletes. He graduated from North Central College (NCC) in Naperville, Ill., with a degree in education. At NCC he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He completed a Master of Science in education from Northern Illinois University in 1960. In 2005 Dick was inducted into the North Central College Athletic Hall of Fame and was named "one of the best athletes in the history of the school." (See the following link for details

While in college, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dick enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps where he piloted the C46 and C47 aircraft. Upon resuming his education, Dick remained a USAF Reservist in the Korean War, piloting the C119 Boxcar Aircraft, and ultimately retired with the rank of MAJ Richard Smith USAF (Ret).

Dick graduated from NCC in 1948 and began what would become a 35-year career of teaching and coaching at Naperville Community/Central High School. Respected and loved by his colleagues and students alike, his accomplishments in the classroom and on the field were unmatched. Dick was inducted into the NCHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. His success also led him to become a three-time inductee into the Illinois High School Hall of Fame for coaching football and baseball, along with officiating basketball.

On April 14, 1944, he married Gladys Rhodes Nelson, who preceded him in death in 1990.

In 1991 he married Barbara Bradshaw. They enjoyed years of travelling before settling in Milan, Mich., in 2005, where he continued to stay active.

Dick is survived by his wife, Barbara; sister, Jeanette Sloggett (Rad); children, Richard Smith Jr. (Anna), Linda Collins, David Smith (Toni) and Jay Smith (Allison); grandchildren, Brett Smith (Mandy), Nicole Smith, Andrea Collins, Michael Collins, Danielle King (Joshua), Rhodes Smith and Lillian Smith; great-grandchildren, Kendall and Addison Smith; along with Barbara's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents; and siblings, Harry Smith, James Smith, Charlotte Hunt, Eleanor Miller, Marilyn Amend and Helen McCormick.

At Dick's request, memorial contributions may be directed to the North Central College Athletic Department.

A memorial service will be held at a later date, with interment at Naperville Cemetery, Naperville, Ill.

Arrangements by Ochalek-Stark Funeral,



MILAN, MI 48160

Phone: (734) 439-1100

Fax: (734) 439-2245

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by on Dec. 19, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Ochalek-Stark Funeral Home
Add a Message
8 Entries
Rich Smith was a life-long friend. The Smith's and the Sieben's enjoyed years of family time together. Rich and my husband, Ralph, enjoyed playing basketball together on the Moose team. Rich was liked by everyone, including students, faculty and friends.
Ruth Sieben
January 15, 2021
Mr. Smith was a wonderful individual - I had him for American History in '57 or '58 - but he knew and was friendly to everyone. He had a great laugh, a warm manner, and was the best looking teacher at NCHS !!
Jerriann Myers Wilson
December 21, 2020
A great teacher, coach, and patriot, who touched so many in the classroom, on the field, or in the community. I was one of the lucky ones to play for him and learn from his example. Rest in peace, Coach!
Tim Moon
December 20, 2020
Dick Smith taught American History when I was in High School in the 1950s. I always admired him and loved his classes. He was a good man.
Larry Hilliard
December 20, 2020
December 20, 2020
December 20, 2020
Smitty was a hero to me both as a player for him at NHS (football & baseball) and as a fellow football coach at NCHS. I often think of him and will always have fond memories of our times together. God bless him and his family, JP
John R. Perry
December 20, 2020
I was coached in football by Coach Dick Smith at Naperville then " Community High School" under head Coach Spenser. Coach Smith was a wonderful leader and respected by everyoer knew about his background until I read his obituary. What a wonderful man. May he rest in peace. Don 1951-55 NCHS
Donald Boecker
December 19, 2020