Cover photo for S. Burton Smith's Obituary
S. Burton Smith Profile Photo

S. Burton Smith

Burt passed away Monday, September 23, 2019 at his home in Kalamazoo.

He was born July 22, 1929 in Ypsilanti, the son of Roy and Mae (Warboy) Smith. Burt had worked for Consumers Energy for 35 years until his retirement. He had served on the Board of Directors at the Consumers Credit Union and was a member of the 12


Street Baptist Church. In his free time Burt enjoyed golfing. He had a strong faith and was a member of the Sowers and loved traveling the world serving God.

On May 1, 1948 at the First Baptist Church of Otsego he married Rachel Rouse who survives.

Also surviving are his children, Sue (Richard) Gorton of Kalamazoo, Bruce Smith of Otsego and Jim Smith of Fennville; 8 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law, Shari (Marc) French; siblings, Ilene Publiski and Carl Smith along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, son, Russell Smith; 3 great-grandchildren and siblings, Robert, Bernard, Ruth and Ivy.

Friends may visit with Burt’s family from 6-8 P.M., Thursday, September 26, 2019 at the First Baptist Church of Otsego and starting at 1:30 P.M., Friday, September 27, 2019 until the time of the service at 2:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church of Otsego with Pastor Thaddeus Stout officiating.

Burial will follow at Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego.

Contributions in memory of Burt may be made to Steve and Becky Swope with Ethnos360 or Matt and Tracy Wright with Wycliffe Bible Translators Inc.

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Condolence Messages

Todd and Vicky Ziegler

September 24, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Rachael we love you and will miss Burt. All your hugs and phone calls make the memories of Burt and you so precious and will stay with us forever.


Ilene Publiski

September 24, 2019 at 3:57 pm

Isn’t it rewarding that this death is all in God’s plan. We may not understand WHY, but that is not important. Burt’s father’s favorite hymn was “Farther Along” (… we will know all about it… ).


Arch & Sandy Woodstock

September 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Know the sorrow and joy you are feeling and we will be praying for your family. What peace it is to know that Burt is now walking with his Lord.


Carolyn Jordan

September 24, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Rachel, Sue, Bruce & Jim- my heart is with you especially during this very sad time. May God wrap you all in His Loving arms & fill you with His Comfort that Burt is with Him. Burt will never leave your hearts so he will always be with you.


Wayne Holden

September 24, 2019 at 8:33 pm

Gosh, one of the best things about Plainwell Baptist church was walking in and seeing this wonderful man waiting at the door, there are a handful of people that influences a persons life for the better and Burt was part of that group! What a great man!


Dave and Marilyn Root Coffield

September 24, 2019 at 10:00 pm

Dick, Sue and family,

I have such good memories of your Dad on our many trips to Grand Rapids after Sunday evening Church during our Butterworth days. The wonderful hope of heaven is that you will be reunited one day. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Sally Nichols

September 24, 2019 at 11:30 pm

I’m so sorry Burt is gone. He had a gentle presence that made everything seem all right, and the world is a sadder place without him.A big hug to Rachel and condolences to the family.


Patti (Khodl) Hewitt

September 25, 2019 at 10:05 am

So sorry for your loss. May loving memories bring you peace, comfort and strength.


Jamie Lane

September 25, 2019 at 10:16 am

I’ll always remember Burt as the “Candy Man” at First Baptist Plainwell. He knew how to make kids feel special and seen, just by offering a smile and a piece of candy to welcome you to church. Praying for all of you as you grieve, but celebrating that Burt has received something far greater than a piece of candy in heaven. I’m sure “Well done Burt!” were some of the first words he heard.


Karl and Elaine Smith

September 27, 2019 at 9:46 am

When we lose a loved one here one earth, we gain an angel in heaven who watches over us.


Lynne Wood Cook

September 28, 2019 at 3:18 pm

So sorry for your loss. I enjoyed visiting with him at the soup suppers.


Steve and Becky Swope

September 28, 2019 at 6:20 pm

Thank you Burt for your great example of dedication to Christ, your kindness, your friendship, and your support for our ministry and family. We are praying for you Rachel, and the rest of the family.


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