Gary Michael Smith, of Cape Coral, FL passed away on February 7, 2018 at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, FL, after many months of battling congestive heart failure. He was 67 years of age.
Gary was born on May 12, 1950 in Waterloo, Iowa, the son of Virgil Dean (“Bud”) and Mable Bertha [Eldridge] Smith.
After his father’s death in 1958, Gary became the “man of the house”, assisting his mother and younger brother Casey. He was active in numerous interscholastic sports in high school and college – especially baseball, football, wrestling and track. After graduating from High School in Belvidere, Illinois, he attended MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where he met his future bride, Diana. They were married 3 weeks after they graduated in 1972.
In his working career he was a junior high school teacher and coach (boys and girls track, softball, baseball, and wrestling) and a sports administrator (Amateur Basketball Association of the USA) in Jacksonville, Illinois, and worked in merchandising for American Greetings in Cleveland, Ohio.
After his wife completed her career in consulting, they relocated to Cape Coral, Florida.
His “extracurricular” loves were sports, genealogy, and games of all sorts (especially cards). He had been speaking, teaching, writing, and researching genealogy for more than 30 years, along with his wife. They even hosted genealogy cruises and loved the combination of teaching and cruising. He served on the boards of many genealogical organizations over the years. Gary had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed socializing at all levels.
He is survived by his wife Diana in Florida and brother Casey in Indiana.
They had numerous 4-legged “furbabies” over the years, most (except puppy Max) of the feline variety. Misty survives him.
No service is being held at this time. Friends are invited to contact the widow for a possible celebration of his life at a later date. His cremated remains will be taken to join his parents in Dunkerton, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, donations to Habitat for Humanity or the American Heart Association are encouraged.
Arrangements are being handled by Fuller-Metz Crematory and Funeral Home in Cape Coral, FL. Thank you to the many medical professionals who have treated him during this difficult time. He will be missed by many as a kind, loving friend.