Donald W. “Don” Smith

Age 81, passed away August 7, 2021, in Lansing. He was born November 6, 1939, in La Porte County, IN, to the late Donald E. and Arlene A. (Jackson) Smith.

Don and his wife Adah were longtime members of St Michael’s Episcopal Church. He was a graduate of Murray State University, in Murray, Kentucky and later earned his master’s degree from Michigan State University. He went on to 40-plus years of service as a teacher, serving at Gardner Middle School, teaching math, and physical education. Don was a longtime coach at Lansing Everett High School, where he coached baseball with Jake Boss. Don’s time as a coach extended long beyond his retirement; he was a mentor to many in shooting, and hunting. He was very involved in his grandchildren’s sports, and was even known as “grandpa” by his grandchildren’s friends. Don will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the communities served for so many years.

Don is survived by his children: Michael (Dawn) Smith, and Melissa Smith; grandchildren: Grace, Claire, Brody, and Kailyn; sisters: Patricia (Delbert) Ashcraft, Doris (Jack) Sciara, Donna (Greg) Reese, and Sue (Dee) Garritno; as well as nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife of 42 years Adah G. Smith, and his grandson Thomas Waligorski.

The funeral for Don Smith will be 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 13, 2021, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 6500 Amwood Dr., Lansing, MI 48911 with The Very Rev. Nikki Seger officiating, interment will follow in East Lawn Memory Gardens, Okemos. Visitation will be 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m. Thursday at the Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel, 2121 N. Cedar St., Holt, MI 48842. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Sparrow Hospice House of Mid-Michigan, or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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7 Messages to “Donald W. “Don” Smith

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Sue Kohler
August 9, 2021 at 1:46 pm

We’ve lost one of the good guys! My deepest sympathies to Missy, Mike/Dawn, the grandkids and all of Don’s loved ones. Family was absolutely everything to Don and I’m heartbroken for all of you. Hang on to the memories and lessons he left behind. I’m pretty sure he and Tom are hunting together already and loving it!

Bill Smith
August 9, 2021 at 7:26 pm

Great coach and great uncle!

Charles Weiss
August 9, 2021 at 9:59 pm

I always realy liked yor father he seemed very genuine my kinda people . Simple a good man . God bless sory for yor loss hes in a beautiful place now

Brent Earls
August 10, 2021 at 12:40 am

Missy and Mike, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Dad was a great man and mentor for so many. I’ll never forget the good ole days he coached us in cubscout softball and baseball. Family and sports where always his #1 pri and he will be missed. Hugs to you both his memories and spirit will always be with you. Our prayers go out to you and your family. Love you both

Steve Dowker
August 11, 2021 at 12:49 pm

In 1978 I had to take a note to all of my teachers requesting homework for a week so I could go hunting with my family. Mr. Smith took one look at my note and asked why I needed the time off. Once I told him it was to go Deer hunting in Wyoming. He said he wouldn’t sign it….
Unless I took him with me. Lifelong memory of a teacher who cared about his students and reminded us that teachers are people too.

My sincere condolences

Shannon Earls
August 11, 2021 at 2:37 pm

Mr. Smith was my first sports coach at 4.5 years old…too young to formally play or have a team jersey. He allowed me to attend every practice, game and to participate in all team events. Some 45 years later, I still have my team photo in my office to remind me that what you write upon the heart of child can never be erased. Mr. Smith taught me at a young age that I was valued/important and to always give 100% to anything I committed to.

Mike and Missy – I am praying for you and the rest of the family…this is a tremendous loss for our whole community.

My sincere condolences,
God bless
Shannon Earls

Chuck Smith
August 12, 2021 at 3:21 pm

So very sorry for your loss. Butch will be missed by many…

Teri and Chuck Smith


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