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Richard Smit

November 12, 2018
Kalamazoo, MI

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Age 73, lost a battle with cancer and passed away peacefully at Rose Arbor Hospice on November 12, 2018 with his wife, Lani, and special sister in law, Peggy at his side. Rick was born on February 13, 1945 in Detroit, the son of Henry and Josie (Jablonski) Smit. He was married to his best friend and childhood sweetheart, Lani Page. They met at age 14 when his Northwood School came to Parchment and graduated with the class in 1963. They celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary in July. Rick and Lani enjoyed travelling and wandered the USA in their motorhome with their miniature schnauzers at their side. Rick especially enjoyed visiting historic Revolutionary and Civil War sites. He lived life to the fullest and over the years enjoyed downhill skiing, boating on Lake Michigan, snowmobiles, motorcycles, golfing and most of all, old cars, especially his numerous Corvettes. Rick was a man of many interests and talents. He was a woodworker, making beautiful furniture. He also built and restored boats and restored many cars. He was a hard worker and loved to help his friends and neighbors with any current project. Besides his wife, Lani, he is survived by his schnauzer, Tatum; sister-in-law, Diane Page Brooks; brothers, Jim (Deb) Smit, Phil (Peggy) Smit; sisters, Linda (Bob) Lucas, Carla (Mike) Vance, Rita (Jeff) Kane; He was a surrogate grandpa/uncle to triplets Matthew, Malory and MacKenzie Kane (Frank); many nieces and nephews and cousins who he dearly loved; special nieces, Julie, Amy, Lisa, and Diana who kept his spirits up during his last days. He was a real people person and had many wonderful friends and the best neighbors ever. He especially enjoyed his car guys group and their Saturday morning projects and his golfing buddies. He had many great times with special buddies, Bob and Ron. He loved family at the lake house and was an accomplished water skier. He served his nation in the U.S. Army from 1966-1968, which included a tour of duty in Viet Nam where he earned the Purple Heart. A Celebration of Rick's life will take place in the summer of 2019. This wishing to make a lasting contribution in Rick's memory are asked to consider the Humane Society of Kalamazoo, c/o the funeral home. Family and friends may share a condolence message online at www.joldersma-klein.com.