Jerry Smith, 83, from Niles, Mich., and Deland, Fla., passed away on Friday, May 18, 2012, at the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, Indiana. Born on May 29, 1928, in Kessington, Michigan, he was the son of Clair Oscar and Edna Louise (Hiatt) Smith. On July 3, 1948, he married his wife of 63 years and the love of his life, Betty Joyce Eberhart.
Jerry was involved with horses all of his life. He owned and trained world champion Standardbred pacers Crash, Storm Damage, Redskin and many other stakes winners. He was currently racing his stable of horses at Hoosier Park. Jerry was a member of the USTA, Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association, The Michiana Two Cylinder Club and served for many years on the Cass County Fair Board. Jerry was also recently inducted into the Michigan Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
Jerry was also a pilot and enjoyed boating. He was the owner of Smith Construction, builder of roads and state highways. He was also the owner of American Aggregate, Inc. of Niles.
In addition to his wife, Jerry is survived by his daughters, Christine Kay S. (Dr. Phillip) Hecht and LuAnn S. (Richard) VanDalsen; grandchildren, Tiffany K. Carver, Kimberly Ann (James Allen II) Klett, Jerrad T. Grinstead and Fallon Victoria Coody; great-grandchildren, Courtney Kay Haggard, Cole A. Carver, Benjamin M. Kubal and McKenna Kay Klett; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his sisters, Margaret Stoeckinger Baxter and Vera (Robert) Freimund; and brother, Kenneth.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2012 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at The McGann Granger Chapel, 13260 SR 23, Granger, IL. Memorial contributions may be made to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 108 F Old York Road, Hamilton, NJ 08620. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.McGannHay.com.
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