Aug. 9, 1934 - June 6, 2013
ELKHART — The Lord came and walked Frederick H. Smith, 78, home at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, in the year 2013. Rejoice and be glad for the Lord has come!
Born and raised in Warsaw, his family owned and operated the Hotel Hays and The Miller Hotel.
He was married 57 years to his bride, Norma (Arnold) Smith. She survives.
Other survivors include their three daughters, Sandi (Tony) Crocker, Suzette (Brad) Burleson and Sherry (Jeff) Beckwith; eight grandchildren, Brandi (John) Gilkey, Shenna, Kayli, Brina, Braven, Brenay, Kaylin and Connor; five great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Ariana, Garrett, Nolan and Riley; and Fred’s younger brother, Rick (Kathy) Smith, who resides in northern California.
He was born to Stanford and Helen (Rapp) Smith, who precede him in death, along with sister Linda (Smith) Howard and granddaughter April Marie Beckwith.
Fred was known around the Elkhart area as the “magazine man,” starting his career at City News and Book Store. He was a sports fan and avid reader. He was also a movie connoisseur; if you had any questions about an actor, actress or movie, Fred was the person you’d call. He would often surprise people that their so-called “original” movie was actually a remake.
Going back to older times growing up around the hotel, he had an appreciation for trains and would put up the family Lionel train that was shown in the lobby of the Hotel Hays. Known for his sense of humor and quick one-liners, he was a joy to be around. His quick wit left you laughing. He was a hard-working family man who always took time to say “hello.” He was a true gentleman.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Elkhart.
A private family burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Warsaw.
Walley-Mills-Zimmerman Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.
We thank those at Elkhart General Hospital, the Elkhart Hospice House and the staff from Great Lakes Caring for their outstanding care and love shown.
Donations may be given to the Center for Hospice Care-Elkhart Hospice House, 22579 Old U.S. 20 E., Elkhart, IN 46516.