Michael Hugh Smith
Michael Hugh Smith passed from this life on Jan. 5 in Marietta, Georgia, after a short illness.
A Prineville native, he was born May 8, 1960, to Hugh and Ethel Smith, joining sister, Brenda, and brother, Larry.
During his early childhood years, he played Little League baseball and enjoyed having fun with family and friends. He liked to hunt and most especially loved to fish with his mother, grandmother and his Uncle Sam. Numerous times Mike's photo, with his catch of the day, would appear in the Central Oregonian.
As he got older, his summers would be spent in Chicago, Illinois, building fence with his Uncle Alex, father and brother, Larry. Mike also spent time in San Jose, California, washing trucks with brother-in-law, Steve, and slipping off to the beach for the day with sister, Brenda, his nephew, Stephen, and niece, Christina, where they were required to have corn on the cob, caramel apples and ride the merry-go-round.
Mike graduated from Crook County High School in the class of 1978. He was a member of the football team and also the track and field team, where he was a shot put and discus thrower. On one occasion while practicing the events, he hurled one of the objects through the windshield of his mother's 1962 Cadillac El Dorado. Needless to say, this brought his at-home practice sessions to an end.
In 1979, Mike married his high school sweetheart, Jodie Henry, in Prineville. They later had three children: Rawlin Michael, Rogan Lee and Rita Jewel. Also, part of the family was the four-legged friends, Butch and Nitro.
After graduating high school, Mike was employed for many years at Consolidated Pine, eventually working as a molder set up man. After leaving Consolidated, he went to work for his brother, Larry, at ABC Fence for around 10 years as a welder and fence installer.
In 2004, due to certain struggles, Mike and Jodie divorced after 24 years of marriage but remained friends throughout the rest of his life. In 2005 after the divorce, Mike made his way to Georgia for a fresh start. He found employment with a large fence company as a gate fabricator for several years. After that company changed hands, Mike worked at the shop for his sister and brother-in-law's family business, welding and assembling equipment.
In late October of 2017, he was forced to stay home due to his health. While in Georgia, Mike liked attending car shows with brother-in-law, Steve. In the past, he owned several now classic cars, not knowing they would be valuable at the time. On numerous occasions, the boys would pride themselves that they made it in record time, whether it be to Nevada or New York.
On these car show trips, Mike made many new and wonderful friends and would often share his story of how he came to be in Georgia. Having giving up all his former vices, except for Copenhagen, Mike did, however, find a new one in the restaurant chain The Waffle House, where he would eat the majority of his meals.
Michael is survived by his three children, Rawlin Smith, Rogan (Kaleigh) Smith and Rita Smith; granddaughter, Freya Smith; sister, Brenda Ashby; brother, Larry Smith; as well as aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces and many great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; mother; father; sister-in-law, Debbie Smith; and brother-in-law, Steve Ashby.
Per his wishes, Michael was cremated and will be interred at Juniper Heaven on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. The graveside will be conducted by Russel Rhoden.
The family would like to thank his friends in Georgia for helping him in the last months of his life, for taking food, to doctor's appointments, or just checking in on him. He so greatly appreciated it, and so do we. He will be missed by all who knew him.