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George Alexander Smith

December 25, 1922 January 16, 2020
George Alexander Smith
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Obituary for George Alexander Smith

George Alexander Smith 12/25/1922-1/16/2020 Born in Biloxi, Mississippi on Christmas day in 1922, George Alexander Smith was the first son and fourth child of Alexander John Smith and Mary Jane Smith who came to the United States in 1920 from Portessie, Scotland. George was a veteran of WWII, an artillery technician 674th Airborne Field Battalion and a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne, the first allied troops to set foot on Japanese soil after the surrender. He was a technical writer by profession, having graduated as valedictorian from Electronics Institute in Detroit post-war. After retirement from Bendix Aerospace in Ann Arbor, he opened his own business, DocuGuides, Plus, writing computer user manuals. Along with his love of technology, astronomy and science, George had a creative bent. He taught oil painting to senior adults through the Washtenaw Community College Emeritus program into his mid-seventies, wrote fiction and poetry, composed music, played the trumpet, studied piano and dabbled as an inventor. Daring and adventurous, he attended a dude ranch out West and hiked the mountains of North Carolina where he lived for seven years following the death of his wife Katherine in 1998. George then took up sky diving, which he did until he was almost eight-three. The most important event in George's life was meeting his wife, Katherine Allegra of Calumet, Michigan. They met on New Year's Eve 1942 in Detroit to where his family had relocated during the Great Depression. They were married June 28, 1947, Katherine wearing a bridal gown made of the white silk he had sent her from Japan while stationed there. George and Kaye had two daughters: Linda Kerwin (Mark) and Barbara Verlezza (Sabatino), five grandchildren: Rebecca Lussier (Joseph), Sean Kerwin, Colin Kerwin, Sabatino A. Verlezza and Allegra Verlezza. He lived to enjoy seven great-grandchildren: Benedict, Sebastian and Lily Lussier; Vincent, Cecilia, Anthony and Elliot Kerwin, who called him Grandpa George. Additional survivors include his oldest sister Marion Walsh, age 102, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Along with his wife, George was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Aline O'Neill, Nancy Mager, his brothers Nathan, Charles, Leonard, John and Elbert Smith, and a great-grandaughter Katherine Lussier. In the last few years, George enjoyed residing at the American House Senior Living complex in Ypsilanti where he was proud to be a part of the traveling choir, the Trivia Club, karaoke, exercise classes and walking groups. A participant for two years in the American House annual Senior Olympics, he earned two gold medals last August just weeks before a stroke impaired his health and began to take him from us. He spent the last month of his life in a loving VA Medical Foster Care Home in Pinckney, Michigan and enjoyed his last Christmas and ninety-seventh birthday surrounded by his family and friends. He will be deeply missed by all.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Sunday

19

Jan

2:00 PM 1/19/2020 2:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 1/19/2020 6:00:00 PM
Phillips Funeral Home

122 West Lake Street (Ten Mile Road)
South Lyon, MI 48178

Phillips Funeral Home
122 West Lake Street (Ten Mile Road) South Lyon 48178 MI
United States

Visitation2

Tuesday

21

Jan

10:30 AM 1/21/2020 10:30:00 AM - 11:00 AM 1/21/2020 11:00:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church

830 S. Lafayette
South Lyon, MI 48178

St. Joseph Catholic Church
830 S. Lafayette South Lyon 48178 MI
United States

Funeral Ceremony

Tuesday

21

Jan

11:00 AM 1/21/2020 11:00:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church

830 S. Lafayette
South Lyon, MI 48178

St. Joseph Catholic Church
830 S. Lafayette South Lyon 48178 MI
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

South Lyon Cemetery Final Resting Place

479 Stryker Street
South Lyon, MI 48178

479 Stryker Street South Lyon 48178 MI
United States
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