Barn 04


Jerry Lee Smith

January 29, 1938 ~ May 18, 2018 (age 80)

Jerry L. Smith, 80, of New Bavaria,  passed away peacefully on Friday, May 18, 2018 at CHP Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center. 

He was born on January 29, 1938 to Dallas and Mattie (Groll) Smith in Henry County. Jerry married Marilyn (Culler) Smith on October 20, 1956 at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, where he was a member and served as a cemetery trustee. 

Jerry was a graduate of Ayersville High School, He farmed and worked for The Defiance Grocery Company, SK Wayne, and Defiance General Motors, where he was an Internationally Appointed Local Union Benefit Plan Representative, serving the Local 211 Community Service Committee. He served on the United Way committee board of Defiance County, and also helped organize and volunteered for the Defiance Fall Hospice Fair, along with countless other benefit auctions. After retiring from General Motors, he served as the chairman of the Local 211 Retirees Chapter.

Jerry enjoyed gardening, attending sports events, cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes, camping with friends and family, and spending time with his grandkids and great-grandkids. He also had a big heart for his pet cat and dog, Angie and Brittnay. 

Jerry is survived by his loving wife Marilyn of 61 years, daughter Connie (Dale) Gruenhagen and son Mike (Amy) Smith, all of Defiance, seven grandchildren; Matt Gruenhagen, Trisha Smith, Jennifer Gruenhagen, Heather Smith, Tyler Smith and Danielle Gomez, and Ali Smith, eight great-grandchildren; Austin, Anthony, Juliet, Parker, Violet, Rosson, Layla, and Axel, brother Jim (Pam) Smith, and sister Kathy (Tom) Wolfrum. 
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son Scott A. Smith, and great-granddaughter, Addison Smith.
Visitation will be held from 2-8 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance, and for one hour prior to the service. Funeral services will be at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 23rd at Schaffer Funeral Home, with Pastor Lee Genter officiating. Burial will follow at St. Stephens Lutheran Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to CHP Defiance Area Hospice Center, or St. Stephens Lutheran Church. Online condolences can be given at

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