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Michael A. Smith

June 22, 2017

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Michael Alan Smith — doting grandfather, loving father, and devoted husband for nearly 55 years — died following a long illness on June 22, 2017, at his home in Urbana, Maryland. He was 76 years old.

Michael was born in Manhattan on November 15, 1940 — the youngest son of David and Golde (Shapiro) Smith. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Samuel J. Tilden High School. He majored in accounting at the Baruch School of the City College of New York, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business adminstration.

It was at City College that he met his future wife, Rochelle Salzberg, known to everyone as Shelly. He had to repeat freshman orientation — he had played hooky one too many times — and the second time around, Shelly was in his section. He was 18 and she was 16. They dated for two years before getting engaged and married the next year, on September 9, 1962. (President and Mrs. Kennedy were invited to attend the ceremony. They declined.)

Michael worked as an accountant, both as an employee of accounting firms and in private practice, for more than half a century. At times he and Shelly worked side by side, but at all times they were together. They loved each other very much and were constant companions.

Shelly was not the only one who loved him – everyone who knew him did. He was a good and smart and scrupulous man. He was the original purveyor of dad jokes, the hardest person ever to buy a present for, the slowest walker of all time, a hate-watcher of cable news, a loyal New York Giants and New York Yankees fan through thick and thin. He was admirably self-aware: He knew who he was and who he wasn’t. (We should all be so lucky!) He was irascible and obstinate, but he had the biggest heart. He would give you the shirt off his back and often did. He was most generous of all with his children and grandchildren — as if the word “no” wasn’t in his vocabulary.

Michael is survived by his wife; his sons, Evan Andrew Smith and Jason Brad Smith; his daughters-in-law, Julia Null Smith and Dana Baxt Smith; and his grandchildren Carson Elizabeth Smith, Wyatt Harrison Smith, Penelope Joy Smith, and Cecilia Rae Smith. He was predeceased by his parents and his older brother, Charles Smith.

Plans for a memorial service are pending. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Autism Society of America (autism-society.org/donate)

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