Carl Smith Jr., 39th president of State Bar of Michigan, dies

The State Bar of Michigan announced Wednesday the loss of its 39th president, Carl H. Smith Jr., who died Sept. 9 at the age of 87.

Current State Bar President Brian Einhorn and Executive Director Janet Welch expressed deep sadness at his passing.

"Carl and his father represent the finest professional tradition of giving back through public service," Einhorn said. "The State Bar extends its deepest condolences and appreciation to the Smith family."

A 1953 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Smith served in a number of State Bar leadership capacities. He was first elected to the Board of Commissioners in 1966, and elected State Bar treasurer in 1970, vice president in 1971, president-elect in 1972, and president in 1973. He and his father, Carl Smith Sr., are the only father-son duo to have both served as president of the State Bar. Carl Smith Sr. served as the State Bar's 15th president from 1949-1950, soon after founding the law firm of Smith & Brooker in Bay City.

Carl Smith Jr. joined that firm after graduation from law school, and he practiced there for more than 50 years.

Smith also followed in his father's footsteps in the military. Carl Smith Sr. served in World War I, losing his left arm in 1918 at Soissions Juvigney and earning the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star and Purple Heart. Carl Smith Jr. and his brother Richard both served as Marines during World War II. Carl Smith, Jr. was stationed in Guam and Panama from 1944 until the end of the war.

He is survived by his wife Diane; children Jane H. Smith of Bay City, Peter T. Smith MD and (Molly Mann) of St. Clair Shores, MI., Roy A. Smith JD and (Amy) of Minneapolis, MN., Elizabeth J. and (David) LeValley of Bay City, MI., Abigail Smith and (Eric) Briggs of Whitmore Lake, MI; four grandchildren Sarah E. Niemczura (Jerry) of Arlington, VA, Caroline E. and (Greg) Tobias of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Spencer Carl Briggs and Vivian Marie Briggs of Bay City, MI and one great grandson, Andrew Smith Latterell of Minneapolis, MN.

Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, and 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12 at the Trahan Funeral Chapel, located at 256 N. Madison Ave. in Bay City. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 12 at the Trahan Funeral Chapel.

Published: Thu, Sep 11, 2014