Smith, Gene

Written by David Green.

Gene E. Smith, 74, of Ann Arbor., Mich., died July 13, 2010, at home, after a battle with cancer.

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.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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