American Patriotic 10

Alfred David Smith

August 3, 1927 ~ May 1, 2022 (age 94)

Obituary

Alfred David Smith, age 94, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side, in the early morning on May 1, 2022 at his home in Ontonagon, Michigan. Alfred, Al, the only son of Gus D. Smith and May (Roehm) Smith, was born in Ontonagon on August 3, 1927.  Al’s parents preceded him in death as well as his beloved son James Michael Smith, beloved sisters, Evelyn M. Ollila and Rhoda Smith, and beloved first grandson, James Edward Rein.

Al was raised on his family’s dairy farm on Greenland Road in Ontonagon and also lived in Marquette, Michigan for a few years during his childhood. In August of 1944, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He proudly served his country during WWII and the Korean War.

Since his childhood, Al had an interest in aviation.  He was able to realize his dream of taking flying lessons, getting his pilot’s license in 1949. He then purchased his first airplane, a Tailorcraft. He used to fly to the Huron Mountains and ice fish on the frozen lakes as well as to many other areas around the region. He would often grab a buddy and fly along the lakeshore in the winter, hunting predators to cash in on the bounties to use for his airplane fuel. He owned several other planes thru the years and was a charter member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) which he joined on his first-born child’s birthday in August of 1955. 

Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, Al married his sweetheart, Signe Leaf, in Covington, Michigan at her parent's home on October 23, 1954. During their courtship, Al would fly to “pick up” Signe for their dates, which she said was “always exciting and romantic.” 

Alfred and Signe’s greatest joy was spending time with their family. They were blessed with seven children, 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Children: Linda (James) Rein, David (Yvonne), James (D), Thomas (Lisa), Stephen (Joyce) and John Smith and Nancy Walker. Grandchildren: Heather (Cory) Luoto, James Rein (D), Anna (Josh) Drew, Eric (Dani), Aaron, Colin, Megan, Brandon (Sarah), Ellen, Matthew (Samantha), Nathan, Phillip, Jordan and Josiah Smith, Katie (Brian) Bailey, Filmore (Abigail) Walker IV, and Andrew and Darius Walker. Great-grandchildren Lyla and Mikka Luoto, Payton, Daylyn and Dyceson Drew, Carmen, Cheyenne Lillian, Evelyn and Sophia Smith, and Wyatt and Elsie Bailey.

Al led an extraordinary life and leaves a rich legacy. Until his passing, Al still lived in the house where he and Signe raised their family. Al was a talented woodworker and could solve any problem and fix most anything. He was very creative and if he could visualize it, he could build it.  He was a genuinely humble man, a loving, devoted husband, loving father, “Grampy” and “Great-Grampy.”

Al was a compassionate, caring man who made friends wherever he went. He was also a fabulous story teller and could spend hours vividly recalling Navy memories and other life experiences. He loved trout fishing, camping, cook-outs, and especially sunset bond fires at the Ontonagon Township Park Campground every evening in the summers with family.  Most of his grandchildren caught their very first fish with Grampy. Many years of happy memories will be forever cherished by his entire family.  Gathering at “Grampy’s Camper” is our “Happy Place.”

Al worked as a journeyman lineman for REA and then Upper Peninsula Power Company, retiring in 1991.

A celebration of life for Alfred David Smith will be held Saturday, May 14th, at Cane Funeral Home in Ontonagon, Michigan. Visitation will begin at noon, service at 1:00 PM, followed by committal at Riverside Cemetery in Ontonagon with Military Honors. Pastor Michael Carriere will officiate. Following the burial, a luncheon will be held at Cane Court in Ontonagon.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alfred, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Saturday
May 14, 2022

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Cane Funeral Home
310 N. Steel St.
Ontonagon, MI 49953

Funeral Service
Saturday
May 14, 2022

1:00 PM
Cane Funeral Home
310 N. Steel St.
Ontonagon, MI 49953

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