Karl's Story

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Karl M. Smith Jr., 91, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Karl was born on Sept. 21, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois, to the late Karl and Beatrice (Slauf) Smith. He married the love of his life, Joanne DeVore, on June 19, 1948 in Flint.
Karl served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II in Manchuria, China, of the Pacific Theater.
Karl and his father owned Smith Warren Oil Company. Later in his career Karl became the vice president of sales and marketing for Citizens Bank in Flint.
Karl loved his farm in Leelanau County, spending time caring for his land. He was often seen on his John Deere tractor.
He and Joanne owned Centennial Inn, a bed and breakfast in Leland. Karl was a member of the Flint Elks Lodge 222 for over 64 years, where he held the distinction of being the youngest Exulted Ruler. While living in Flint he was also a member of the Optimism Club as well as the Sales and Marketing Executives, and he served on the board of directors for Junior Achievement.
Karl loved tennis and was proud of being the state tennis champion for many years. Among his other interests, he enjoyed playing golf, hunting, fishing and the Leland Coffee Club. Above all, spending time with his family was Karl's greatest joy.
Karl is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Joanne; two daughters, Linda (Tom) Main and Sherry (Ronald) Hatt; a granddaughter, Jaymie (Mark) Riedel; a grandson, Ryan Ketner; and great-grandson, Rhys Craker. Also surviving are additional great-grandchildren and three nieces.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Beatrice Gatewood.
In accordance with Karl's wishes, cremation has taken place. A private family service will be held at a later date.
Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial donation to The Leelanau Conservancy, PO Box 1007, Leland, MI 49654.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Karl's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on January 28, 2018
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