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SMITH NORMAN E.
NORMAN E. SMITH
Norman E. Smith loved to say how he hated winter. Having lived to see 81 of them, Norm departed this world December 30, 2009 at his home in South Russell, OH. He was surrounded by family as he had been by friends throughout all of his life. His jovial nature and rich storytelling magnetized people wherever he went, and served him especially well as Vice President of Sales for Mervis Steel. From his office on Lee Road, Norm pioneered the adoption of high-strength, low-alloy steel across the country and transformed the steel industry in the process. He knew his product better than anyone else and, along with his understanding of human nature, sold it by the truckload to customers such as Case/International Harvester, John Deere and Navistar.
Norm never met a person that he didn't make a friend. Perhaps the one he cherished most was his father-in-law, who gave him his beloved wife of 45 years, the beautiful Barbara Ann Searl, of Aurora. With her, they built a life and raised their daughter, Kelli Leigh. Norman was most proud of Kelli and the two grand-daughters she gave him, Lila and Mirielle, with her husband, Martin Scott Davidson.
Often, Norm marveled at his good fortune and never imagined that the kid who grew up on East 128th Street and Euclid Avenue, who sold Bernard McFadden's Physical Culture door-to-door for a quarter, who lied about his age to join the Navy at 15, and who never graduated college would one day become a member of Acacia Country Club, join the Freemasons, own a farm, fly on the Concorde and travel the world.
Norm loved his sisters, Bea and Joy, and claimed he "wouldn't have made for a patch on the britches" of his daddy, Matt T. Smith, who married Phoebe Ellen Searse and welcomed him into this world on January 6, 1928. But those of us who knew him knew otherwise. Norman, Norm, Uncle Norm, Smitty, Mr. Smith, Dad and Poppa was generous, loving, spontaneous, innovative, dapper, charming, intelligent, sensitive, fearless and wise.
A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 1 p.m. on the land that was once his farm and is now the Federated Church Family Life Center (16349 Chillicothe Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023). In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Family Life Center/ Norman Smith, c/o The Federated Church, PO Box 60, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022.
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