Life Story / Obituary
Generous and kind, Paul Smith lived a life rich in humor and good fun. A beloved son, brother, uncle, and friend, Paul inspired all who came to know him. He gave freely, loved completely, and cherished each moment he was given. He possessed a talent for finding the gold in every moment and encouraged others by example. Revered by many, Paul will long live in the hearts and lives of those who were blessed to know him.
1946 was a year marked by much celebration and hope. With the victorious end of World War II, families tuned into the celebratory tunes of Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and the Andrews Sisters, while children delighted in the debut of the slinky. While the nation relished in a renewed sense of peace and newfound hope, even greater promise for the future was celebrated by Clarion and Madelyn Smith as they welcomed their son Paul into their hearts and home on October 24th.
Born in Detroit, Paul’s childhood began in the city. Later, his family moved to the suburb of Livonia. Like many in his generation, Paul’s early years were rooted in the values of hard work and family. While his father worked to provide for his family, his mother cared for the kids and home. Along with his siblings, Monica and David, Paul enjoyed many of the comforts of the booming prosperity of the 1950s. As the nation experienced a widespread sense of stability and contentment, it was a good time to be a kid.
Paul’s signature good humor was evident from the start. During his potty training days, he infamously stood at the front porch with his pants down yelling “wipes, wipes!” in an effort to trick his dad. Though his father didn’t fall for the trick, the family ended up with a tale that inspired laughter for the rest of Paul’s life.
As a teen, Paul played trombone in marching band and was madly in love with Sue Darke. He loved to drive his iconic Lambretta scooter around the neighborhood and hanging out with his pals at Pitcher Woods and Edgewater Park. After high school, Paul completed one year of pre-med at Wayne State University.
Paul prided himself on being a great big brother to David. He would patiently help David learn many new things and enthusiastically took him along wherever he went. Over the years the brothers explored amusement parks, watched movies, attended ball games, and went to parties together. He also taught David how to drive. Paul was proud of his brother David and delighted in sharing the world with him.
When he became an uncle to his niece Jan and nephew Eric, Paul brought the same generosity and enthusiasm to his relationship with each of them. Affectionately known as Uncle “Fritz,” Paul was a consistent source of love, support, and good fun for Jan and Eric. He relished in being their uncle and especially enjoyed sharing his love of pool with Eric. A patient and natural teacher, Paul enjoyed passing on his excellent skills and gifts for the game to his nephew.
A humble man who valued the simple pleasures in life, Paul enjoyed competitive games like Scrabble, chess, and pinball. He was always up for a game of baseball or perusing a good garage sale. He preferred the smooth soul sounds of Ray Charles, Joe Tex, Jackie Wilson, Roy Orbison, and their contemporaries, and reading classic novels like Moby Dick and Catcher in the Rye. The best of times were those spent sharing the good company of his buddies and his family when he often lightened the mood with his quick wit. Paul could find the humor in anything, and life was always more interesting and fun when he was around.
His greatest day may have been when he acquired his beloved Triumph motorcycle. He loved the freedom of riding at night with just his thoughts.
Though Paul’s world shrunk drastically when he became ill, he continued to wonderfully impact those who were blessed to share his presence. Regardless of life’s challenges, Paul chose humor and kindness at every turn. Without a doubt, Paul was a gift to many, and his legacy will continue to shine brightly in the lives of those he loved most dearly.
Paul Smith, age 71 of Livonia, passed away September 23, 2018. Beloved son of Madelyn and the late Clarion K. Smith. Cherished brother of Monica (Kadie Davis) Ewing and David (Vickie) Smith. Dearest uncle of Janese Ewing and Eric Smith. A visitation will be held on Wednesday from 5 pm until time of service at 6:30 pm, at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Road, Livonia. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MBNI (The Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute-www.mbni.med.umich.edu). To share a favorite memory and/or photo of Paul and to sign the online guestbook, please visit www.TurowskiFuneralHome.com.