Obituary of Jerry Lee Smith
Jerry Lee Smith was born on November 27, 1941, in Monroe, Michigan. He was the son of Vermont Henry “Mack” Smith and Helen (Adler) Smith. Jerry attended the Wood, One Room Schoolhouse, Hall School, Mason Junior High School, and Monroe High School.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force on July 2, 1959. He obtained the rank of E-1 while working in crash rescue and took an honorable discharge on July 10, 1961. After his time in the military he remained in Denver, Colorado where he worked as a bus boy and then became a bartender. In this capacity he had the opportunity to meet many celebrities and athletes, encounters that warmly recalled throughout his life.
Jerry married Leatrice Minney in the early 1970's and they were blessed with a son: Chad. Tragically, she passed away when Chad was only 2.5 years old. For ten years he provided for his family, operating a corrugator for Time Container in Monroe. Taking employment with E and L Transport, Jerry found his true passion as a truck driver hauling automobiles. His career spanned thirty years before his retirement in 2003.
On August 10, 1991, he married Sharon Ann (Labardee) Sancrant at the LaSalle Presbyterian Church. They made their home in LaSalle where he spent much of his free time, and sometimes took days off from work, tending to his nearly one-acre garden. He painstakingly cared for his lawn and cut the grass to stay busy.
Jerry was a former member of the Monroe Rod and Gun Club. He enjoyed shooting trap and shooting with a bow and arrow attending many tournaments over the years. When he had the time to kick up his feet and relax, he enjoyed watching episodes of Law and Order and Westerns.
Jerry Lee Smith, age 82 of LaSalle passed away at 5:44am on Friday; January 26, 2024, at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital. His passing was preceded by his parents; his first wife: Leatrice; a stepdaughter: Kristy Moore; a stepson: Scott Alan Sancrant; and a brother-in-law: Richard Staelgraeve.
To cherish his memory he leaves his beloved wife of thirty-two years: Sharon Ann Sancrant-Smith of LaSalle; a son: Chad Smith of Temperance; three step children: James Carl Sancrant (Linda Sue) of LaSalle, William Charles Sancrant of LaSalle, and Jill Sharpe of Monroe; two sisters: Helen Elden of Maumee and Joyce Staelgraeve of Monroe; a grandson: Jake Smith; six step grandchildren: Kimberly and Amanda Sancrant, Billie Marie Sancrant, Miranda Moore, and Eric Moore; and Chelsea (Dan) Bomia; and six step grandchildren: Jaxson, Elliotte, Lilliana, Violet, Daniel, and Olivia.
Friends may gather from 12:00pm until 2:00pm on Thursday; February 1, 2024, at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. A Celebration of His Life will follow at 2:00pm also at Merkle’s with Pastor Roy Southerland officiating. Procession will follow to LaSalle Township Cemetery for burial where graveside services will be under the auspices of Monroe VFW Post 1138.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Emphysema or Cancer foundations. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.