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.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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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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