Thomas J. Smith, age 69, of Conneaut, passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at his home, surrounded by the love of his family.
He was born on April 11, 1947, to the late Wallace H. and Lila (Manniko) Smith, and was a 1965 graduate of Conneaut High School. During his high school years, he played baseball in the Colt League where he was an All-Star catcher. He also helped his father train and show Morgan horses. After high school, Tom attended Bowling Green State University, and in 1968, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served for four years. Before volunteering to go to Vietnam, Tom married Janet Thompson Smith. The two have been together since they were young teenagers and he was her #1 fan. They were an example of strength, relying on each other through all the good and bad that life brings.
After returning from the war, Tom attended the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science where he graduated with honors. He joined his father-in-law as a funeral director and embalmer at the Thompson Funeral Home, and went on to own the business in 1992 when it became Thompson-Smith Funeral Home. It was in this role that so many community members got to know Tom's heart for service. He was not a man of many words, but he cared deeply and was able to show that by helping people through their most difficult times. After many years of service, he officially retired from the business in 2013.
Tom was an avid hunter and loved time spent outdoors. Although he had a wealth of great experiences in the woods, his favorite was his Elk Hunting trip in Colorado. He also loved his community. He was an active member of the Conneaut Lions Club, where he served as President twice, the Conneaut Elks Club #256, the Conneaut Moose Club 472, American Legion Cowle Post 151, and the Evergreen Masonic Lodge 222. He was a member of Conneaut United Church of Christ where he was an usher and member of the properties board. He would often be seen in the back row "pretending" to sing along with the hymns. He was very proud to be a 25 year member of the Board of Directors of the Conneaut Savings Bank. Along with his official memberships, Tom could often be found helping out around town. He plowed driveways, helped his kids and friends with various labor projects, and cooked the best steaks for anyone that happened to show up at dinner time (as long as they liked them rare!). If there was ever an opportunity to volunteer, Tom would be first in line to help, and never wanted praise. It is just what he loved to do.
Tom was deeply loved by his family and friends. He is survived by his wife Janet Thompson Smith, with whom he celebrated their 47th anniversary on March 7th; children, Amy (John) Lower of Monroe, Sara Gleason of Conneaut, and Ryan (Mindy) Smith of Greenwich, Conn.; grandchildren, Hannah, JJ, and Nathan Lower, Max and Hope Gleason, and Lily Smith. Brother Tim (Jan) Smith of Missouri; and many nieces and nephews who loved "Uncle Tom" deeply.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, March 17th, from 4-8 p.m. at the Thompson-Smith-Nesbitt Funeral Home, 345 Main St., Conneaut. Funeral Services will be on Saturday, March 18th at 11 a.m. at the Conneaut United Church of Christ, 211 Buffalo St., Conneaut, with Pastors Joyce Shellhammer, Tim Kraus, and Stephen Szilagyi officiating. Burial will follow at Kelloggsville Cemetery, where American Legion Cowle Post #151, will salute their departed comrade.
Memorial Contributions can be made to Conneaut UCC Church. The family asks that those who loved him go out and help a friend (or stranger) in his honor. Just tell them it's from Tom.
The Thompson-Smith-Nesbitt Funeral Home is forever grateful for Tom's friendship, mentoring and love he showed us...
Online guestbook and condolences available at www.thompsonsmithnesbitt.com
Published on March 17, 2017