He was born June 6, 1936, in Fulton County, Ohio, to Hal and Nova (Barnes) Smith.
Gene graduated from Morenci High School in 1954. He enrolled in the Engineering College at the University of Michigan, where he earned a B.S.E., M.S.E and Ph.D. In 1963 he joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty at the University of Michigan where he taught until he retired in 1998.
During the last few years of his career he was appointed Assistant Dean which gave him the opportunity to not only teach, but counsel students. Throughout his career he was devoted to his students.
Gene served as faculty advisor to the U of M Solar Car teams from 1988 to 1999. He also served as a mentor to 12 football athletes from 1988 to 1999, and was an avid Michigan football fan.
In 1959 he joined West Side United Methodist Church where he served in many capacities and was a long time member of the church choir.
Gene is survived by his wife of 52 years, Darlene (Rupp); two sons, Douglas (and Kathleen Desmond) and Jeffrey; three daughters, Valerie (and James) Jones, Shar Ann and Lisa; four grandchildren, Hannah, Riley, Jacob and Andrew; two brothers, Robert and a twin brother Glen; a sister, Evelyn Ford; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a son, David; his parents; sisters, Ruby and Barbara; and a brother, Everett.
Services were July 17 at West Side Methodist Church. Interment was in Oak Grove Cemetery in Morenci, Mich.
Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Michigan College of Engineering, Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center, Office of Advancement, Attn: T.J. Truskowski, 1221 Beal Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2102. Checks should be made payable to Regents of the University of Michigan and should read Gift to the Engineering Scholarship Fund in memory of Professor Gene Smith in the memo.
Memorial contributions may also be made to Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley at www.h4h.org or Arbor Hospice at www.arborhospice.org.