Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith, 83, from Niles, Mich., and Deland, Fla., died May 18, 2012, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, Ind.

Born on May 29, 1928, in Kessington, Mich., he was the son of Clair Oscar and Edna Louise (Hiatt) Smith. On July 3, 1948, he married his wife of 63 years and the love of his life, Betty Joyce Eberhart.

Mr. Smith was involved with horses all of his life. He owned and trained world champion Standardbred pacers Crash, Storm Damage, Redskin and many other stakes winners. He was currently racing his stable of horses at Hoosier Park.

He was a member of the USTA, Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association, The Michiana Two Cylinder Club and served for many years on the Cass County Fair Board. He was inducted into the Michigan Harness Horse Hall of Fame.

He was also a pilot and enjoyed boating. He was the owner of Smith Construction, builder of roads and state highways. He was also the owner of American Aggregate, Inc. of Niles.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Smith is survived by his daughters, Christine Kay S. (Dr. Phillip) Hecht and LuAnn S. (Richard) VanDalsen; grandchildren, Tiffany K. Carver, Kimberly Ann (James Allen II) Klett, Jerrad T. Grinstead and Fallon Victoria Coody; great-grandchildren, Courtney Kay Haggard, Cole A. Carver, Benjamin M. Kubal and McKenna Kay Klett; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his sisters, Margaret Stoeckinger Baxter and Vera (Robert) Freimund; and brother, Kenneth.

A memorial will be announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 108 F Old York Road, Hamilton, NJ 08620.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at http://www.McGannHay.com