Born in January 1951 in Okarche, OK, Michael Smith was a country farm boy at heart. He enjoyed the simple things in life – laughing, family, outdoors and sports. Mike was a loving husband to his wife Amy, children Jacob (Betsy) and Sara (Justin), Amy’s children Ashley (Stefan), Alyssa (Simon) and Jenny, sisters Michelle (Steve) and Karen (Kevin), brother Pat, nine nieces and nephews, and nine grandchildren: Abby, Blaise, Max, Evan, Brendan, Hugh, Maisy, Olive and Ellie Jo. Mike was preceded in death by his parents John and Mary.
Mike was known for his distinct sense of humor, quick wit, easy going nature, his faith, desire to serve and accept others, and his ability to tell a good ol’ fashioned story. He loved to share stories about his adventures growing up in OK and then in AZ with his parents and siblings. He learned from them and carried with him a fun loving and hardworking approach to life. He often worked multiple jobs, including at his Dad’s service station, a newspaper boy, railroad worker, forest ranger, and most notably as a coach and teacher. Some of his fondest memories were from his times spent as a devoted teacher and coach for 25 years in AZ and UT where he was recognized as teacher and coach of the year on multiple occasions and won two AZ 3A State Basketball Championships, among other accolades.
Mike fought a hard and incredibly courageous battle with liver cancer causing him to retire from teaching. He carried hope and faith for seven years when in July 2012 he received a new liver, thanks to the selfless act of a generous family. Their gift gave our husband, Dad and grandpa a new lease on life with a chance to meet seven more of his nine grandchildren. He embraced and seized the opportunity to love on his family and live a full life enjoying the outdoors, sports, and traveling again to the Tetons, Colorado and South Africa.
Mike created love in every environment and was surrounded by it as he passed on April 3, 2017. Husband, best friend, Pops, Dad, Grandpa, PaPa and friend – you are dearly loved and your spirit will live on in our hearts.
A memorial service will be held at Walker Mortuary in Morgan, Utah on Friday April 7 at 12 noon. A visitation will be held Thursday from 6 to 8 at the mortuary and on Friday one hour prior to the services. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Round Valley High School Athletics Department at PO Box 610 in Springerville, AZ 85938.
Interment will be at the South Morgan Cemetery.