Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday - August 30, 2016 - Harold Alton Smith

Harold Alton Smith 

Harold Alton Smith was born on August 29, 1928 in Flint, Michigan. He was the son of Everett and Lillian Losee Smith. They also had a daughter Lucille Smith who was born 4 years earlier. Lucille died at the age of six leaving Harold as an only child. They lived on Term Street in Burton, Michigan.

Harold lived in many places in his childhood. His father was a Methodist minister and he served many churches. As a young boy in the 1930's, he lived in Genesee Michigan,while his father was the minister at the Genesee and Ridgefield Churches. 

Everett, Lillian Harold -1939

Vacation Bible School at the Genesee Church - 1939
In 1943, Everett was called to go to the Marine City Methodist Church.  Harold would finish his high school years here .

Lillian and Harold -1944

He was very active in sports at Marine City playing with the football team and running track  in the 1944, 1945 and 1946 seasons. 

1943-1944 Football Season

1946 Football Season
1945 Track season
Harold ran barefooted for the track season. (I just can not imagine that because his Mother, our Grandmother, never wanted us to be barefooted.  She had foot problems which she always attributed to cutting her foot as a child!)  

Marine City is where Leah Anderson and Harold Smith met. They were High School Sweethearts. Leah graduated in 1945 and Harold graduated in 1946. This picture was taken of the two of them when Harold graduated in 1946.
They both when to college. Leah went to Baker Business School and Harold went to Port Huron Junior College where he got his Associated Degree and he finished his Bachelors degree at the University of Michigan Flint Branch. 
Leah and Harold married on May 28, 1950 in Marine City. They were married by Everett Smith.
Everett, Lillian, Harold, Leah, Addie, Andrew - May 28, 1950
They spent there first 5 years of marriage in Lapeer. They lived in a Cottage on Skinner Lake which
was owned by Everett and Lillian Smith and Harold worked for JC Penneys. A few months before I was born Harold took a job at a Department store in Romeo. We moved to a small house on Fritz Drive built by the Fritz Brothers Builders. (who are still building houses today three generations later.) Eventually he worked for Engleston's which became Engleston-Mitzelfelds after Diana Engleston and William Mitzelfelds married and joined the department store business with his new father-in-law. When Leslie Engleston retired, it became Mitzelfelds. Dad managed Mitzelfeld's for 14 years. In that time, Leah and Harold had six children; 4 daughters – Pamela, Susan, Janet, Sharon and two son's Mark and Matthew. Harold always spoke about how hard it was to be an only child and decided early on that he would have a large family. 

In 1968, Harold moved his family to Imlay City with the intention of buying a department store called Brownites Department Store. When that opportunity did not materialize, he decided to purchase the Ben Franklin Store from William Knight when he decided to retire. Harold would spend the remaining years of his life owning and operating one or more Ben Franklin Dime Store. From 1971 – to the early 1980's he owned his original store in Imlay City.

Grand Opening for the Imlay City Store

In addition he bought and opened the Harbor Beach store in March of 1975.  

( I know that I have a photo some where of the store after he renovated it but so far I just have not found it. ) By 1986, Harold and Leah moved to Harbor Beach and soon after sold the store in Imlay City. Am looking for a photo of the Harbor Beach store.  This is one but doesn't show the store front very well.
Ed and Louise Heitke - Harold and Leah Smith - Smith Cousins

On morning of August 30, 1996, Harold died of a heart attack. At the time, Harold was negotiating the sale of the Harbor Beach store to the Local Drug store and had purchased the Corner Store, across the street. The plan was to continue to sell the things that he liked across the street but not all of the dime store type items that could be sold in a drug store and he planned to add custom framing to his business. He had also planned to phase out of the business with Pam taking over more of the day to day operations so he could maybe...semi-retire. 


He is buried in Rock Falls Cemetery in Harbor Beach, Michigan next to his beloved wife Leah.

Rest is Peace, Dad. Think of you everyday...and I know you hear me!

Love, Jan

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