On March 17, 2023, Hadsel Lee Smith 92, passed away peacefully in his Perrysburg home surrounded by his loving family. Lee, the youngest of six children, was born September 9, 1930, to Moses and Maude Smith at his home in West Union, West Virginia. Lee grew up on his parent’s 100 acre farm and after finishing the 8th grade, was pulled from school to work full time on the farm with the rest of his older siblings.
He hopped on a train when he was 15 and came to Toledo, Ohio to stay with his oldest sister and her family and immediately went to work at a local auto factory. In 1948 he met and fell in love with Geraldine Rickerd who was working for the Driggs Dairy Company at the time and in December of 1950 they were married and spent the next 64 years together.
Lee worked the first part of his career in the textile industry, but when his family began to grow he decided that it was time to look for a better paying job. He was offered a Millwright position with the Champion Spark Company which meant he had to go back to school and complete a three year Journeyman’s Program. During this time he was also studying to become a Freemason, he was the President of the Inmont Corporation Credit Union and was helping his wife raise their three children in their newly built home in Perrysburg. After completing his program, he worked for the next 20 years at Champion as a Millwright.
Lee loved working with his hands and with help from his family, he renovated two homes in Wayne, Ohio that belonged to his mother and father in-law. Lee enjoyed the outdoors, he was an avid golfer, a hunter and a master gardener. He was also diehard Detroit Tiger and Pittsburg Steeler’s fan. He enjoyed visiting his family in West Union where he could relax, sitting on the porch of his birthplace, reminiscing with his siblings.
Lee was active member at the Grace United Methodist Church in Perrysburg for over 60 years where he served on many committees and as an usher for 40 of those years.
Lee is survived by his three children, Michael (Mary Kay) Smith of Waterville, Jeanne (James) Fehlen of Maumee and Kevin (Pamela) Smith of Perrysburg. His sisters Edwina Travis and Mary Jett both of West Union, West Virginia, and his companion of eight years Diane Kenninger. Grandchildren Gregg (Dana) Smith, Kelly (John) Nonnenmacher, Sarah (Greg) Dewulf, Adam Smith, Michelle Ramlow, Nathan ( Sarah ) Smith. 20 Great Grandchildren with another one on the way. Brother in law and sister in law John and Elaine Rickerd. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Geraldine, brothers and sister in laws Grant (Katy) Smith, Ben (Patricia) Smith, sister and brother in law Ruth Ellen (Donald) Nutter, brother in laws Burl Travis and James Jett, half-sisters Pearl and Ruby and half-brother Earl. Also 2 Grandsons, Jared Lee Smith and Cole Michael Smith.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday March 22nd at Witzler-Shank-Walker Funeral Home at 222 East South Boundary St. Perrysburg where a celebration of Lee’s life will be held at 2-8 pm. Funeral will be held at Grace United Methodist Church 601 E. Boundary St. in Perrysburg Thursday March 23rd at 11am Burial will follow at Fort Meigs Union Cemetery. Online condolences may be shared at walkerfuneralhomes.com
The family would like to thank the staff at Perrysburg Hospice for their availability, support and constant care for Lee during his final days and a special thank you for his three earthly angels, Tiffany and Lisa from Hospice for their total commitment with helping Lee and his family from start to finish and to Pastor Grace from Grace Church for all her hospital and home visits giving Lee and his family love, peace and comfort with her prayers.
Memorial Contributions can be made to Hospice of Northwest Ohio, 30000 East River Rd. in Perrysburg, Ohio or Grace United Methodist Church on 601 E. Boundary St. in Perrysburg.