Fred Smith, 87

Fred Smith Jr., 87, of Bronson, died Sunday, July 17, 2011, at his home.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Pleasant Hill Missionary Church, with Pastor Terry Siler of First Congregational Church officiating.

Interment will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Noble Township.

Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Dutcher-Kolcz Funeral Home in Bronson.

Fred was born Oct. 3, 1923, in Mishawaka, Ind., to Fred and Zelta (Wilbur) Smith Sr.

On Dec. 20, 1947, he married Vera “Charlene” Black in Cassopolis.

Mr. Smith served in the U.S. Army and was a veteran of World War II. He had a great love of farming, which he had done his entire life while also working at Kirsch in Sturgis for 36 years. He enjoyed restoring old John Deere tractors and he also enjoyed rabbit and raccoon hunting.

Fred is survived by his wife, Charlene; sons Gerald (Sharon) Smith of Bronson, Darl (Teresa) Smith and Roland (Juanita) Smith, both of Coldwater, Rodney (Sheryl) Smith, Greg (Amy) Smith and Kevin (Lori) Smith and a daughter, Jody (Robert) Collins, all of Bronson; sisters Minnie Mae Nolan, of Sturgis, and Winifred Wells and Gela Matthews, both of Florida; 26 grandchildren; seven stepgrandchildren; 42 great-grandchildren; 13 step-great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandson; six step-great-great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his sons, Terry and Lynn Smith; three brothers; a sister; four brothers-in-law; a daughter-in-law; and a granddaughter, Chantelle Smith.

Memorials may be directed to Heartland Hospice of Kalamazoo or Thurston Woods in Sturgis.

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