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.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
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  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of 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.

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