Bruce Smith Jr.
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Bruce Monarch "Rusty" Smith January 10, 1944 - January 10, 2022
Our beloved Rusty departed this life on his birthday, January 10, 2022, surrounded by love and freed from an eight year battle with dementia.
Rusty was born January 10, 1944, to Bruce Monarch and Freddie Marie Smith. He was raised in Houston and Harlingen, Texas - both places providing him with many, many happy memories. He attended Harlingen High School where he was captain of the football team, captain of the baseball team, and president of just about everything else. After graduating in 1962, he attended the University of Texas in Austin where he pledged Delta Tau Delta, rarely missed a Longhorn football game, and partied with the best of them.
Never one to let the grass grow under his feet, on June 3, 1967, Rusty graduated from UT, joined the Marine Corps, and married his college sweetheart and wife of 54 years, Jinny Chappell. They started married life in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in a training program with Armstrong Cork. In1968, Rusty moved on to the Marine Corps where he proudly served as a lieutenant in Vietnam with the 3rd Marine Division and was honorably discharged as a captain in 1971. Following the Marine Corps, Rusty began a career in computer software sales and consulting, eventually founding and running Lear Data until he retired in 2001.
Among the many pleasures in his life were his family, friends, boating, the Texas Longhorns, and spending summers at his beloved Walloon Lake in northern Michigan. An avid sports fan and an athlete, he enthusiastically coached his son's soccer, baseball, and football teams. At the age of 50, he took up golf playing with gusto and making great friends at the Northwood and Walloon Lake Country Clubs. Rusty adored his dogs and time spent walking them. His dogs loved him, too, but will not miss the six miles of walks a day. He loved making runny scrambled eggs with red onion while dancing a jig in the kitchen. Rusty was a long time, devoted member of St. Michael and All Angels church where he served as an usher, acolyte, verger, treasurer, and senior warden.
Rusty presented himself as a no-nonsense kind of guy. This, along with his great sense of humor and million dollar smile, led him to succeed both professionally and personally. Those who knew him best saw him as a man of purpose, dignity, loyalty, and deep faith. He was admired and loved by all who knew him.
So, we must say goodbye to our "Pops", "Big Rus", "Coach", Boss", "Uncle Rus", "Se?or Rusty." He is preceded in death by his parents Bruce and Freddie Marie Smith, as well as his sister Shannon Milton and brother Chris. He is survived by his wife, Jinny; daughter, Christen Leeson and her husband Todd; son Trey and his wife, Sarah; four grandchildren, Noah, Beckett, Isabelle and Dodge; sister Erin Martin, her husband Doug; sisters-in-law Connie Morris and Debbee Smith; brother-in-law Mike Milton; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at a later date when we are able to gather safely and celebrate Rusty's life.