Edward Stanley Smith was born on August 29, 1933, in Shouyang, (northern) China, to missionaries Frances Jane Sheller and William Harlan Smith. Ed died peacefully in his sleep Saturday morning, March 12, 2022, at the Timbercrest Senior Living Community, North Manchester, IN, next to the love of his life and partner of 68 years, Jean Weaver Smith. He enjoyed a great life, full of family, friends, and wonderful adventures!
Ed and Jean met as freshmen at Manchester College and were married on Memorial Day, 1953, at the Manchester Church of the Brethren. They have three children, Melea Smith, Michelle Brown and Bret Smith; nine grandchildren (Andrew, Aaron and Sarah Ross; Collin Brown; Dawn, Cassie, Bret Jr., Michelle and Patrick Smith); and 26 great-grandchildren.
He was the sixth of eight children. Siblings include Pauline (Ralph) Delk, Helen (Roy) Hiteshew, Dorothy (Jim) Mason, Dwight, Lloyd--all deceased, as well as Shirley (Jim) Mishler and Maureen Weaver. Ed graduated in 1951 from Flora High School in Indiana. He received his BA in history from Manchester College in 1955 and went on to Bethany Seminary in Chicago, graduating in 1958.
Ed had a brilliant mind, was a talented teacher/orator, loved golf and gardening, and was a true creative. His moral compass was without question. He had the ability to inspire others. His influence will continue through the lives of his children and their children. He is fondly remembered by many congregants as well, having served pastorates for a combined 35 years at the Decatur (IL) Church of the Brethren; Eastwood (Akron, OH); Plymouth, (IN); Elkhart City Church (IN) and South Bend Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren, just down the street from his beloved Notre Dame (IN). Go Irish!
After returning from China at the age of 7, Ed grew up in the Midwest and considered himself a Hoosier (Indiana). Following retirement in Northern Indiana, Ed and Jean had the chance to visit China, taking in a variety of ancient sites and returning to the city of his birth. They also traveled to Ireland, Mexico and Hawaii, as well as completing their tour of U.S. states with a ferry trip along the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau. Additional destinations included Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. These trips allowed him to explore his great interest in photography, amassing hundreds of slides taken on his travels around the world. He created a dynamic China slideshow, which he presented to high school World History students and various other interested church and civic groups.
Ed and Jean lived in Naperville, IL, (where their daughter, Melea, resides) from 2011 to 2019 and were members of the Downer Grove Friends Meeting (Quakers).
Folks who knew him were aware and often benefited from his other talent as a self-taught woodworker. Ed offered repair work to friends, created birdhouses for neighbors, and built toy boxes and other gifts for his children and grandchildren. Some of the furniture he created takes a place of pride in their Timbercrest apartment and in his children’s homes. Ed Smith was the kind of guy you wanted to live next to, as he was a fixer and problem solver.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at Manchester Church of the Brethren, 1306 Beckley Street, North Manchester, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ed’s name to: Timbercrest Senior Living, North Manchester (IN); Heart-to-Heart Hospice of Ft. Wayne (IN); or the Parkinson’s Foundation.
To send flowers to Edward's family, please visit our floral store.
Heart to Heart Hospice
7221 Engle Road, Suite 100, Fort Wayne IN 46804
200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami FL 33131
Timbercrest Senior Living Community
2201 East Street, North Manchester IN 46962