Michael ‘Mike’ Ira Smith passed away in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 70 years old. Mike was born on March 5, 1953 in Cleveland, Tennessee to Earl and Marie Smith, the youngest of 4 children. Mike spent his childhood in Michigan living on farms that his father worked on. In 1970, at the age of 17 years old, Mike enlisted in the Army and served for two years in Germany and Vietnam. After returning to the states he moved around for several years before eventually moving to Arizona in 1983. Living in Phoenix, Mike was a hard working man and worked primarily as a cabinet installer. He was handy and did various remodeling jobs at his home.
Mike married the love of his life, Laura, on October 21, 1989. Despite telling people he would never have children, Mike and Laura welcomed two beautiful daughters into the world, Melissa and Jennifer. Anyone that knew Mike knew how much he loved and was proud of his daughters.
Despite his illness, he made sure that he attended Jennifer’s graduations and Melissa’s wedding, telling the doctors that he would be going to the events no matter what.
Mike suffered from the disease of alcoholism, but became sober in 1987 with the help of God and Alcoholics Anonymous, making many dear friends in the program. One of Mike’s passions was golf; he loved playing golf and loved meeting new people while playing. One of his golf friends said he was the fastest golfer he had ever met. He loved playing with his best friend of 35 years, Dale Lovell.
Mike could, and would, stop and talk to anyone, and made many friends this way. Mike had a great sense of humor and brought joy to many people’s lives, and will be remembered as a funny and charismatic man who loved to tell elaborate stories.
Mike battled prostate cancer from 2020 to 2021, and was later diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in April of 2022. Mike was not one to be told what to do, but he followed his treatment team’s orders throughout the treatment; he wanted to live to be with his wife and daughters as long as he could.
Mike lost his valiant battle with leukemia on August 25, 2023 surrounded by his wife, two daughters, and son-in-law. Mike is survived by his wife, Laura Smith, oldest daughter Melissa Smith (Chris Merkle), and youngest daughter Jennifer Smith. Mike is also survived by his sister, Angela Dustin, and several nieces and nephews. Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Marie Smith, older sister, Carol Smith, and older brother, Dennis Smith.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 8, 2023 at 3pm at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home at 4800 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85018, with a reception afterwards. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Be the Match or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.