B. LeRoy Smith, 78 / May 13, 1931 – May 5, 2010

Published 5:14pm Friday, May 7, 2010
B. LeRoy Smith, 78
B. LeRoy Smith, 78

B. LeRoy Smith, 78, of Niles passed away on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at his residence, surrounded by his loving family.

LeRoy was born on May 13, 1931 in New Buffalo, Mich.

He graduated from Buchanan High School class of 1949. On Aug. 8, 1953 LeRoy married Barbara Lee Swem at a ceremony at the First Methodist Church in Buchanan. In 1954 LeRoy was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving two years. LeRoy graduated from Central Michigan College with a bachelor of science degree in education and played football all four years. For many years LeRoy was a teacher and coached football and baseball for Buchanan Public Schools. He also coached football and taught industrial arts at New Troy High School. In 1959 LeRoy went back to college, attending Wayne State University, where he received his degree in Mortuary Science. For several years LeRoy worked at Swem Funeral Home in Buchanan and in 1973 he purchased Pifer Funeral Home in Niles. For many years LeRoy and his son Tom operated Pifer-Smith Funeral Home until his retirement in 1993.

LeRoy was a very active member of the community as a member of the Four Flags Chamber of Commerce; Niles-Buchanan Rotary Club, where he served as president and was a Paul Harris Fellow; an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Niles; a member of the Niles Elks Lodge; and a member of the Orchard Hills Country Club, where he played for many years on the Wednesday golf league. LeRoy was a member of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association. He was also a member of the Niles Shrine Club and a Mason. LeRoy and Barb also loved traveling in their motor home all over the United States, Canada and Alaska. He and his wife also enjoyed spending many winters in Palm Desert, California. LeRoy was an avid Cubs fan and so enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

LeRoy is preceded in death by his mother Lillian E. Fleenor, Aunt FannieBelle Smith and a brother Donald J. Smith.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara L. Smith, of Niles; two sons, Bruce L. Smith (David Robrecht), of Washington, D.C. and Thomas L. Smith (Lisa Page), of Niles; a daughter, Tamara Hise (Kim Tracey), of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; three grandchildren, Amy (Aaron) Trombley, of Dallas, Texas, Colin Kee Smith and Anna Lee Smith, both of Niles; a brother, Gordon (Shirley) Smith, of Redding, Calif.; and a sister, Patricia Weber, of Terre Haute, Ind. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

A time of visitation will be held on Monday, May 10, 2010 from 4 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Brown Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church at 13 South Fourth St. in Niles. A private committal service will be held at Oakridge Cemetery in Buchanan.

Memorial contributions may be made in LeRoy’s memory to Hospice at Home, Inc. 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, MI 49085 or to the Salvation Army 424 North 15th St., Niles, MI 49120.

Condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the family at www.brownfuneralhomeniles.com.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, Niles.

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