Curtis Lee Smith
Feb. 2, 1953-Dec. 5, 2017
Award-winning newspaper reporter and editor Curtis Lee Smith died Dec. 5, 2017, at age 64, after a two-month battle with cancer. Born Feb. 2, 1953, the Trenton native was a 1971 graduate of Trenton High School. Mr. Smith continued his studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1975. An avid sports fan, he remained a season-ticket holder to Wolverines football games until his death. Mr. Smith also earned a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. Following graduation from Penn State, he began working at the Mellus Newspapers in Lincoln Park in 1978, and remained with the newspaper for several years through its merger with the News-Herald in 1986. He later went on to serve as a reporter and editor for the Lansing State Journal until 2016. Most recently he worked in the communications department for Central Michigan University. He was a resident of Haslett, near East Lansing, at the time of his death. During his career in the newspaper business Mr. Smith earned a reputation a thorough, tough and fair reporter, whose work was recognized numerous times in annual contests held by the Michigan Press Association. Over the course of his life Mr. Smith became a world traveler, including trips to Russia, Asia, the Middle East and multiple excursions through Canada. He also spent considerable time researching his family’s genealogical background, finding more than 1,800 ancestors, including Civil War hero Edgar Smith.
Mr. Smith was the beloved brother of Dennis (Suzanne) and the late Diane (Bill) LeBar; loving uncle of Cindy, Claire, Patrick, Dana and Catherine. His funeral service was held at the Trenton Chapel of Martenson Funeral Homes Dec. 9, with burial following at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit. The family suggests donations in memory of Mr. Smith to the American Cancer Society.