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Jerry L. Smith 70, of rural Columbia City, died at 6:17 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at Parkview Whitley Hospital where he was admitted on Monday.
He was born April 21, 1942, in Thorncreek Township, he was the son of the late Franklin J. and Una Dell (Bowman) Smith.
His formative years were spent in Thorncreek Township.
He attended Columbia City High School.
On June 20, 1959, he was united in marriage to Marilyn L. Gibson.
They have always made their home in Whitley County.
For the past 35 years, he was the owner and operator of Jerryâ€™s Tire Service in Columbia City.
His prior employment included Phillipâ€™s Firestone, Columbia City, for 17 years.
He also spent a year with Liberty Coach of Syracuse.
In the 1960s and 1970s, his weekends were spent at the Warsaw Speedway.
When he was not racing, Jerry functioned as a pit steward and assisted with the operation of the familyâ€™s track.
Surviving relatives include his wife of 53 years, Marilyn; his children, Brian L. (Dianna) Smith, Kathy S. Thomas, Larry L. (Barbara) Smith, Laura K. (Brady) Shoda and Marcia R. (Tim) Schlotterback, all of Columbia City and Scott A. (Britte) Smith of South Whitley; 15 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; a brother, Edward K. Smith of Franklin and a sister, Brenda C. (Dan) Murphy of Columbia City.
The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.
The burial will be in the Stough Cemetery. Visitation will be 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials are to Riley Childrenâ€™s Hospital or Toys for Tots.
Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com.