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Barbara E. Smith, 86, of Central Lake passed away on March 17th with her family by her side. She was born on November 26, 1936 to Tony and Anna McKenney in Central Lake.
On July 21, 1952 Barb married her high school sweetheart, Jim Smith, and they were married for 63 years. Jim predeceased her on December 27, 2015.
Barb played basketball, softball and was a drum majorette with the Bellaire High School Marching band. Barb and Jim moved to Lansing at a young age. Barb was a homemaker who lived a life of service which was the example she set for her children. She was a Den Mother, a member of the St. Therese and St. Jude Altar Society and DeWitt school trip chaperone. Jim and Barb always opened their home to anyone who needed a place to stay. Barbara would later go to work for JW Knapps in Lansing where she loved working.
Bowling was her passion. Barb was a member of the Lansing Woman’s Bowling Association, Woman’s International Bowling Congress and the Michigan Woman’s Bowling Association. She bowled on 3 leagues where she served as Secretary. Barb was named to the Lansing All Star team on 5 different occasions. She carried a consistent high average and bowled in several State and National Tournaments. Barb will always be known as Barb the bowler.
After retirement, the Smiths moved back to Central Lake where her life of service continued. She was very active at St. Luke’s Catholic Church serving as Sacristan, Eucharistic Minister and a member of the Ladies Guild. Barb also spent years as a Central Lake Lioness, where she was recognized as Lioness of the Year. She served the community and held board positions on several occasions. Jim and Barb started the Giving Tree operation for the local adult foster care homes. They were recognized by the Diocese of Gaylord as volunteers of the year. This service continued for over 25 years.
Barbara loved her family. She is survived by her children, Barbara Ann (Jim) Kowal of Bellaire, James (Sandy) Smith Jr. of Bellaire, Sara (Jeff) Goldberg of Central Lake and Sharon Smith of Central Lake. Grandchildren Robbi (Amy) Case, Corey (Tina) Case, Rhonda (Bryan) Chadima, James (Anne) Smith III, Michael Smith, Arielle Kowal, Christopher (Amber) Higby, Lyndie (Alex) Michanowicz, and 14 great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Hospice of Michigan and Myrna King for their tender care of our Mother the past few weeks.
Mass of the Christian Burial will take place at St. Luke the Evangelist Church, Bellaire MI, on Saturday, March 25th at 11:00 am with Father Ron Timock officiating. Visitation to take place before Mass starting at 9:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial contributions to the Amberstrong fund at 4 Front Credit Union or to one of the family members to assist with the medical expenses for Barb’s granddaughter, Amber Higby, who recently suffered a brain aneurysm.
Arrangements are in the care of the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.
Saturday, March 25, 2023
9:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Saturday, March 25, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
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