Mike Smith Obituary, Death – Mike Smith, a resident of Martensville, passed away at the age of 41 years, and it is with deep regret that we share the news of his loss. In a short while, a complete obituary and life story will be added. On the Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at 2:00 p.m., Memorial Services for Mike will be place in the NorthRidge Hall, which is located at 901 Third Street North in Martensville.
On Thursday, April 27, 2023, Michael J. Smith, a retired Lieutenant Commander in the United States Coast Guard, passed away at his home in Grand Haven, Michigan. Mike was a selfless community leader who will be remembered for his sense of humor, style, generosity, and love to his family and the United States Coast Guard. Mike will also be recognized for his service to the U.S. Coast Guard.He was born on February 16, 1953, in Bogota, New Jersey, to the late Henry Smith and Dorothy (Otto), and he spent the majority of his childhood years there. His parents have now passed away.
Following his graduation from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1975, Mike began his 21 years of distinguished service, which included travel to multiple locations around the world. During this time, Mike served aboard cutters, commanded search and rescue teams, guided and mentored cadets, served on committees for presidential inaugurations, earned a master’s degree in public relations from The Newhouse School at Syracuse University, and led Auxiliary volunteers. Mike retired as a Captain in the United States Coast Guard in 2002.
Mike was first stationed in Grand Haven as a visiting cadet in 1972 and later served as the Commanding Officer of the United States Coast Guard Group Grand Haven from 1990 to 1994. Both of these experiences were a part of Mike’s Coast Guard service. Following Mike’s retirement from the Coast Guard in 1996, he and Cathy moved their family back to this unique neighborhood so that they could bring up their six children there.
He continued to serve others in a variety of capacities, including as the Director of Grand Haven Community Education and the Director of Volunteer Services at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. Finally, in 2006, he began his dream job as the Executive Director of the United States Coast Guard Festival, where he worked to strengthen the relationship between the Tri-Cities community and the United States Coast Guard.
Mike had a lot of passion and energy, and he was able to interact with other people while he was driving around town in his cherished black Jeep, either to go to community meetings or to deliver special gifts to his “framily.” Michael was honored with the 2016 Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award and the 2021 Distinguished Public Service Award granted by the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard for his enthusiasm for festivities and acts of service to Grand Haven and the men and women of the United States Coast Guard.
Both awards were presented by the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. His wonderful 70 years were emphasized by the love he had with his family and the experiences they went on together, especially with his wife of 44 years, Cathy. The “Grander’s” devotion to both his country and his family was proudly expressed by the patriotic tattoos that covered his sleeve. These tattoos depicted 11 different nautical flags, one for each of his grandchildren.
Mike “Smitty” is survived by his loving wife, Cathy; his beloved children, Lt. Colonel Maxwell (Cassie) Smith (Benson and Harrison), Mollie (Alex) Wood (Claire and Hazel), Moira (Ross) Gray (Wills, Jacks and Briggs), Maggie Smith, Major Matteson (Erin) Smith (Finley, Emerson, Madigan and Maeve), and McHale (Katlyn) Smith (expecting first child in July). In addition to these relatives, he is survived by his brother, John Smith, who is married to Julia; two sisters, Barbara Farrell and Joanne Vanak; and a number of nieces, nephews, and other relatives.