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February 9, 2018

According to his wishes, cremation will take place and a memorial service will be held on Saturday April 7th at Heritage Reformed Church beginning at 11:00 a.m.

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John Reit Smeda, age 87, died Friday, February 9, 2018 at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He leaves behind his wife of 58 years Frances (DeBoer) Smeda; son Reid J. Smeda and his children with Corinne, Rachel (& Michael) Gatts, John R. (& Karen) Smeda, Robin (& Trenton) Klebba; daughter Anita (& John) Ennis, and their children Kristen (& Jason) Harris, Joe (& Malinda) Ennis, and Bryant (& Joy) Ennis; as well as seven great-grandchildren. John also leaves behind his brother Willem (& Elly) Smeda, sister-in-law Anne Smeda, and numerous nieces and nephews. John was born in Groningen, the Netherlands the second oldest of six children to Reit and Jantje (Haalstra) Smeda. In 1951, John immigrated to Canada where he met Frances.  They were married in 1959 where their two children were born.  In 1963, John moved his family to Grand Rapids where he attended Calvin College, later obtaining his Master’s Degree at Western Michigan University. He worked as a school teacher at Kalamazoo Christian High School for eleven years teaching German and French. John painted homes as a summer job and later was a substitute teacher at Plainwell and Otsego Middle and High Schools.John always loved working on his farm in Plainwell growing strawberries, rhubarb, tomatoes and sweet corn.  He was very proud of all the crops grown at the Smeda Produce stand. John loved all animals, especially German Shepherds.  Throughout his life, John loved to tell stories of his youth and significant moments. The family would like to thank the care-givers at Life Care Center in Plainwell and at Oakview Terrace in Kalamazoo for the attentiveness to his needs and friendship.