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Chris E. Smith

December 9, 1951 May 2, 2018
Chris E. Smith
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Obituary for Chris E. Smith

Chris Smith, an arborist and owner of Smith Tree & Landscape Service, Inc., passed away on May 2, 2018 at 66 years old.

Smith Tree & Landscape was founded in 1947 by Chris’s parents, Edwin and Jane (Frye) Smith. Chris developed an intense work ethic by spending summers trimming trees while attending Waverly High School and Michigan State University. He joined his parents and older brother, Tom, in helping to run the company after graduating from college in 1975. As the third certified arborist in the State of Michigan, Chris spent 40 years building Smith Tree & Landscape into one of the area’s leading tree care companies. His management responsibilities grew after the deaths of his father, mother, and brother until his retirement in 2017. Chris was a member of the Tree Care Industry Association, Green Care Industry of Michigan, and International Society of Arboriculture.

Chris met his future wife of 46 years, Michelle Marquardt, while in high school and remained deeply devoted to her. Chris was quickly invited by her parents, Fred and Jeanne, to be a regular participant in family gatherings and vacations. He developed lifelong friendships with her four siblings, particularly Michelle’s sister Mary, who for decades was a key colleague at Smith Tree & Landscape. He was a loving father to his sons Jonathan and Jacob, and daughter Caitlin, and a loving grandfather. He warmly welcomed his daughters-in-law Renee and Elizabeth into his family, truly loving them as he loved his own children.

Chris had many hobbies and interests over the years, including photography, playing the guitar, skiing, and basketball, but it was when he was in his 30s and took up golf, that he found the activity that would define the second half of his life. Chris loved his time on the course, particularly at the Country Club of Lansing where he was a member. While he didn’t often brag of his accomplishments, he was proud of his 7 holes in one. He was happy to have spent the past year of his life as a retiree playing golf in Northern Michigan, Hawaii, and Florida with Michelle and lifelong friends.

Chris is survived by his wife Michelle (Marquardt) Smith; son Jonathan (Renee) and grandchildren Eli and Ruby; son Jacob (Elizabeth); daughter Caitlin; sister Lois (Gerald) Gable. He was predeceased by a brother, Thomas D. Smith.

A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Friday, May 11, 2018 at the Country Club of Lansing, 2200 Moores River Dr, Lansing, MI. Visitation is Thurs., May 10th from 5 pm to 7 pm at Peters & Murray Funeral Home, 301 E. Jefferson Street, Grand Ledge, MI. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Arbor Day Foundation tree planting fund (

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Previous Events





5:00 PM 5/10/2018 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 5/10/2018 7:00:00 PM
Peters & Murray Funeral Home

301 E. Jefferson Street
Grand Ledge, MI 48837

Peters & Murray Funeral Home
301 E. Jefferson Street Grand Ledge 48837 MI
United States





11:00 AM 5/11/2018 11:00:00 AM
Country Club of Lansing

2200 Moores River Drive
Lansing, MI 48911

Country Club of Lansing
2200 Moores River Drive Lansing 48911 MI
United States

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