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Douglas Berton Smith
February 19, 1959 ~ December 24, 2023 (age 64) 64 Years Old
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Douglas Berton Smith passed away on December 24, 2023 after a long fight with Lyme and Parkinson’s diseases. His last days were spent at home, surrounded by family, singing worship songs to his Savior.
A life-long Michigan native, Doug was born on February 19, 1959 to Gerald and Beverly Smith in St. Joseph. After graduating from St. Joseph High School, he studied and graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, FL. Immediately upon graduation, he moved back to Michigan, married JoAnne Drake of Hartford and started working at Grace Christian School in Watervliet in 1981.
He and JoAnne raised four sons in Hartford, sending each of them to Grace Christian School. Doug was passionate about the ministry of Grace. In addition to tasks of school accountant, he spent countless hours donating his time to events at the school. Throughout his 22 years working at Grace, Doug could be seen leading fundraisers including the jog-a-thon and work-a-thon, driving the bus to sports games, being a class sponsor, leading missions trips and senior trips, and teaching math and accounting classes. After leaving Grace in 2003, Doug worked for DeWitt Computer and Zbattery.com until his declining health prevented him from continuing.
Doug had a disciplined and detail-oriented personality. He spent hours memorizing Scripture. He always dreamed of building a house on Van Auken Lake. Twenty years ago, he started designing the house and saw the entire process through to the end with a finished home in 2007. Doug enjoyed music throughout his life. He could play the violin, accordion, and bass guitar. He loved singing, both written music and songs he would make up on the fly. He was fond of running and participated in several 5k races in the area. He loved watersports and, in the summer months, could be found on Van Auken Lake barefoot skiing, slalom skiing or wakeboarding. Quieter times called for paddle-boating or kayaking.
Doug is survived by his wife JoAnne, sons Ben (Adrianne), Peter (Brittany), Timothy (Rachel) and Marcus (Emily), grandchildren Amelia, Evangeline, Annabelle, Ellavieve, Drake, Patrick, Avery, Abigail, June, Roy, Wyatt and Eli, and brother Greg. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Beverly and sister Debbie.
A visitation for Doug will be held on Friday, December 29 at Hartford Bible Church, 65418 Red Arrow Hwy, Hartford, MI 49057 from 12:30 – 3:00PM with the funeral service immediately afterward at 3:00. A graveside service will follow. Memorial donations can be made to Grace Christian School or Hartford Bible Church. Those wishing to leave condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.