Miss Susan Marie Smith, age 59 years, formerly of Niles, Michigan, daughter, sister, aunt, swimmer, singer, and proud Chippewa died at 9:46 a.m. on Saturday, February 11, 2023 with her brother at her side at Saint Joseph Plymouth Medical Center in Plymouth, Indiana following a brief illness. Her family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the staff of Miller’s Merry Manor in Culver.
She was born on the Fourth of July, 1963 at 10:14 p.m. - while the fireworks were exploding outside of Pawating Hospital in Niles – to John W. and Joann C. (Pomeroy) Smith. She began her education at the former Electric Light School of Niles Community Schools before transferring to the Blossomland Learning Center in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She was also employed at Gateway Services in Berrien Springs.
Susan was an enrolled member of the Sault Saint Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. She has always enjoyed singing, quickly learning and accurately – and often - reprising every song taught in school. Later, she became a fan of the late singer and songwriter known as John Denver from whom her favorite song was “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” She was also a fan of the television shows “Sesame Street” and “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”. She had a unique skill – shared with her mother – of completing jigsaw puzzles, being able to select a piece from the box and identify exactly where it fits in the big picture.
Her favorite pastime was swimming, often at the YMCA, but also in area lakes and ponds, and anywhere that had a suitable body of water. And whether swimming, singing, or solving puzzles, she always had a great smile.
She was sadly preceded in death by her beloved father, John Smith who died too young in 1979 at only 40 years old.
Surviving family includes her mother, Joann C. Smith of Saint Ignace, Michigan; Susan’s siblings, Cheri Hartline of Dowagiac, Michigan, Steven Smith of Centreville, Michigan, and Rick (& Marsie) Smith and Timothy (& Maxine) Smith, both of Niles; and many nieces and nephews of several generations.
The Catholic Liturgy for Susan Smith will be read at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2023 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles, by Deacon Roger Gregorski of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Niles. Committal Rites will follow at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.
Relatives and friends wishing to participate online may do so via the livestream on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/ . Online condolences may be left at:
Susan clearly loved life in a manner that very few of us can truly understand, enjoying the activities in which she participated, and offering a genuine smile to everyone around her. That smile continues in our memory, and in that heaven which Jesus said “ . . . belongs to such as . . . Susan.”