Covell Funeral Home


Terry Smith

26 August, 194219 October, 2020
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Terry Jay Smith, 78, passed away in his home on October 19, 2020. He lived on Torch Lake, North of Elk Rapids. He was born on August 26, 1942 in Flint Michigan to Violet (Saine) Smith and Kenneth Smith. He married Brenda Creager on October 31, 1969 in Flint, Michigan. He served his country in the Army during the Vietnam war. He began his career at General Motors and eventually opened his company where he was a salesman in the automotive industry. Terry loved hunting and traveled to many countries for his hunting trophies. He loved going to movies, traveling, telling jokes, reading and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife: Brenda, his daughters: Shelley, Jennifer, Debbie and Denise, and his grandchildren: Anthony and Matthew Torres, Joshua Bohnard, Bailey Zebia, Emily Dillon, Justin Latrell, Miranda Straub, Jake Barber, Joel Barber, Jory LaValley, Megan Vogt and Ella Vogt and eighteen great-grandchildren. Terry was preceded in death by his son, Matthew. There will be a celebration of Terry’s life held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Covell Funeral Home. Beginning at 10:00 a.m. the ceremony will take place at 11:00 a.m. officiated by his dear friend, Tim Moeggenberg.

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  • Visitation

    Saturday, 24 October , 2020

  • Memorial Service with Military Honors

    Saturday, 24 October , 2020


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Jason Austin

October 26, 2020

Terry was my assistant at Buick Motors during the time his infant son was having his final struggle with life. I remember Terry telling how he was holding his baby boy in his arms when he reached out to him during his final moments. Terry and I were not ashamed of the tears we both shed at that time.

Regina Thompson

October 25, 2020

I met Mr Smith when I became his daughter (Shelley) best friend around 27 years ago. Mr. Smith was a one of a kind person. He had the best personality and sense of humor. And laugh, he had the best laugh.
Nothing ever went over his head, and was always quick with a good one liner- he had some zingers. And then the sarcasm. He pretty much had that mastered. Truly one of the best. If his sarcasm went over some people's head, there was always a great facial expression for them to catch on, sometimes a eye roll, and then always turns his head to the side with disbelief. I seen that look often when Shelley and I would proclaim our innocence for something and he would believe us in the most sarcastic way.
And I loved to hear Mr Smith stories. He shared many good hunting stories. I even got to eat his kara boo burger he killed and made for us.
I really enjoyed spending time with Mr and Mrs Smith at their home on Torch Lake.
I am deeply sorry to the family for their loss of a good man.

Lisa Sutton

October 25, 2020

I am a friend of Shelley’s and met her dad through her. I remember our trip to see The Wiggles when Matthew, and my son Jake, were 4 years old. We went to The Rainforest Cafe for lunch and Terry followed lil’ Matthew and Jake around asking what they wanted as a souvenir because he wanted to buy them something.

I also remember us all going out on Torch Lake to swim and relax. Terry loved showing the kids around the lake and letting them “drive” the boat.

I will always remember his laugh and that he always, ALWAYS had something to say. He loved his family so very very much and he and his presence with certainly be missed.

Linda Flippo

October 24, 2020

My late husband Dave and I met Terry and Brenda while on a tour to France in 2015. The word that describes my first impression of Terry is gregarious - and I still think of him that way. He was outgoing, comfortable talking to new acquaintances, and very social. As I got to know Terry, I realized that he was very proud of his business career, his military service, but, most of all, he was proud of his family. Terry so enjoyed talking to my husband, who was a career soldier in the Army. When my husband passed away, Terry and Brenda flew to Tennessee to attend his services, and forever endeared themselves to me. I am so thankful to have continued our friendship through the years, and to have known Terry Smith. Brenda, I look forward to our continued friendship.
Love from Tennessee,
Linda Flippo

Janis Clark

October 24, 2020

Don & I first met Terry & Brenda, in 2015 in France!!
We were on a tour thru France and they happen to be on the bus!!
Terry was such a character! We enjoyed getting to know them over the next 14 days we were together!!
They became good travel friends!!!
Due to living in different states, we could not see them like we would have liked. But stayed in touch!
So enjoyed having dinner with you a couple of weeks ago!
If we can do anything, please feel free to contact us.
Hopefully, you can travel with us again sometime!!
Our sympathy goes out to you!
Don & Janis Clark

William Clark

October 24, 2020

Became acquainted with Terry through activities at The First Presbyterian Church in Elk Rapids. We had common interests which included hunting. A drive to and return from Utah produced a trophy Elk for Terry. After six days in a car and a week of hunting there weren't too many things we didn't know about each other. Opening day at Fenway against the Yankees and typical touring around Boston were enjoyed with Brenda and Connie. Terry was a Harry Potter devotee and an authority on St. Francis football. Sadly the Utah hunt was Terry's last as his physical limitations increased. A unique guy who will be missed.

Kyle Kelley

October 23, 2020

From the moment I met Terry, it was immediately clear to me how special this man truly was; and how blessed I am to have known him. He was always kind to me, and lived his life with the utmost respect for other people. I will never forget watching him be Santa Claus for all the children in Elk Rapids. He held both of my daughters for their first Christmas visit to Santa, and he was certainly jolly! His pious nature was truly inspiring, and his gratitude for the life he lived was unwavering. I will always think of the friend that I lost; I may cry, but I will always smile and definitely laugh when I think ever so fondly of him. He will always be in my thoughts and prayers!


October 23, 2020

The first time I met Terry he almost made me cry. He and Brenda had come into the nusery to shop for trees. He was loud and I thought, argumentative. But the more we talked, the more I got to know the real Terry. After that first encounter, I looked forward to his and Brendas' visits. We would talk about his latest hunting adventure and their newest vacation plans. Later we talked about our families and I will always remember Terry's kind words after my mom and dad passed. Our talks were of all sorts of things, from the politics of the day, to spiritual topics. He and Brenda were always a welcome sight at our TC store. They would stop by after breakfast or lunch at Randys Diner and the crew would gather around for a chat and usually a joke or two. We loved hearing about vacations and everyday ordinary stuff. Terry, I will miss you, gruff exterior and teddy bear interior. Go with God my friend and if you get the chance, say hi to my mom and dad!

Brenda Smith

October 23, 2020

I was married to Terry for 50 years. He put up with all the cats and dogs I've had over the years, but he loved them just as much as I did. We traveled a lot during our time together until he wasn't able to, but I'll always have those amazing memories.
I love him and miss him.

Matthew Torres

October 23, 2020

I remember when I used to go to his house in the mornings when I didn’t go to school because I was to young and after a nice breakfast we would just spend all day just watching cartoons and playing with puzzles until it was time for me to leave and I think that I didn’t spend enough time with him when I became a teenager and I regret it but I’ll always have my memories of him to remember the time I did spend with him. I’ll always love my grandpa Smith no matter where he is.


My dad meant the world to me.


Almost 50 years of marriage....


He had such a special relationship with Matthew.


Happy on vacation!


He will be missed so much.


Father daughter Tiger game... an annual tradition


He loved Anthony so much


Im going to miss him so much.


Even his wife sat on Santa's lap.

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