Age 93, born in Lansing on May 25, 1919, died May 7, 2013; son of Ralph Rexton and Wilhemina (Cetus) Smith. He was a member of Central United Methodist Church; a graduate of Lansing Central HS, and Lansing Business University.

Rexton spent two years in the Army during WWII, including 18 months in the European Theatre as a heavy-mortar gunner in the 90th Division (the “Tough Hombres”) of General George Patton’s Third Army. He was in numerous major battles, including the Allied invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge; Rex was awarded five Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart during his service to his country. Upon discharge from the service, Rex started his own business, owning and operating Crest Cleaners & Laundry until 1973.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Ruth Elizabeth (Balcam) Smith. Surviving are 2 daughters, Judith K. Smith and Barbara (Frederick) Stabley; 2 sons, Kenneth (Kristin) Smith and Jeffrey (Christy) Smith; 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Helen (Maurice) Branch; and 2 nephews and 2 nieces.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 11, 2013, at Central United Methodist Church, 215 N. Capitol Ave, with The Rev. Ronald Brooks officiating. The family will receive friends in the Church Library from 1:00 p.m. until service time on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Central United Methodist Church or the Disabled American Veterans.

Special thanks to all staff members at Ingham County Medical Care Facility for their extraordinary kind and loving care in the final years of Rex’s journey home.

Rex told us that the loss of his wife in 2004 was a struggle ten times tougher than any battle he ever fought in WWII. And so, Godspeed to our quiet, humble hero, as he and the love of his life are now reunited, Forever and a Day.

Arrangements by Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

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6 Messages to “Rexton Ralph Smith”

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  1. 6
    Jim & Jeanne Butler Says:

    Jeff, Christy, and family. Our condolences to all of you. We always enjoyed visiting with Rex and Ruth. Rex was a man of strong principles who like others of the Greatest Generation was shaped by the Depression and World War II. A gentleman, and while he was strong and decisive, it was Ruth who was his beacon. We hope you will take solace in knowing they are together once again.

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