Van Lee Smith
October 16, 1934 - December 31, 2020
Van Lee Smith, 86, of Angola and formerly of Hudson died Thursday, December 31, 2020, at Northern Lakes Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Angola.
He was born October 16, 1934, in Corunna to Paul C. and Blanche (Lung) Smith.
Mr. Smith retired as the auto mechanics teacher at DeKalb High School.
He was a member of the Antique Auto Racing Association (AARA).
Van enjoyed racing and did so up until 2015. He also enjoyed teaching auto mechanics and was a well-liked and respected teacher. He frequently stayed after school helping students and working on other teacher’s cars.
Surviving are a son, Tony Smith of Hamilton; a sister, Beth (Bill) Hoskins of Palm Spring, California; two brothers, Gilbert (Barbara) Smith of Fresno, California, and Wayne Smith of Florida; and the mother of his son, Laura Smith of Hudson.
He was preceded in death by six sisters, Pauline McBride, Hilda Reinoehl, Isabel Leas, Betty Cox, Jean Knisley, and Janet Tracey; and a brother, Lloyd Smith.
A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.
Preferred memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6324 Constitution Drive, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46804.
Young Family Funeral Home, Hudson-Ashley Chapel, 612 North Main Street, Hudson is assisting the family with arrangements.
Share memories and condolences at www.youngfamilyfuneralhome.com
Tony and Laura did not know until today that Van passed away. So sorry for your loss. Now he can reunite with his original family in heaven. He is now free of the despicable dementia decease. My prayers go out to you. Love U both, Karen
My sincere condolences to Tony and family. I have many childhood memories spending time at the shop admiring his race car and the racing pictures on his office wall. Van was always a friend and great help to the local farmers and community.
So sorry for your loss Tony. Van was and always will be family. I’m sure that he and my dad are having a good time in Heaven!
Prayers 🙏 to the families. He was a Great man. It was an honor to know him. God's Speed my friend 🙏
Van and I went to Fairfield center school together. And remained friends throughout ourlife when I moved back to Indiana in 1982. My thoughts and prayers 🙏 with the family.
I will forever miss you as my neighbor!! Thank you for helping fix our vehicles, lending a ladder, and great conversations. Rest easy my friend
Van was my favorite teacher in high school.He will be missed.
Whenever I think of Uncle Van I think about racing. I'll never forget seeing his Winston Cup car the time I got to visit his shop. I didn't get to visit with him as often as I'd like to have, but I always enjoyed spending time with him when I did. I'm sure he's racing in Heaven's circuit now. The Victory Lap.........The Fallen Racer's Tribute By Kim Ingle God, You saw fit to make me a racer Racing around the track of life, I'm so glad I'm on this circuit With my friends, my family and my Wife. Though the track is sometimes slippery and it's not always real well lit, For the most part, I've been competitive and I've really enjoyed the trip. I didn't think it would be perfect Free from yellows, free from repair, But I'm circling that race track Finding much enjoyment there. The white flag is waving Life's track is way to quick, Four turns and I'll be finished I'll meet you in my pit. Now, I have YOU as my crew chief I'm racing on heaven's track, I look forward to taking the checkered And driving my Victory Lap.
Thoughts and prayers to the family. I will always remember Van's smile.
R.I.P.,my Great Uncle Van. Much love,your Great niece;Brenda
So sorry for your loss, Tony. I thought the world of your Dad!! He was my Auto Mechanic's teacher!! He will be dearly missed!!
Prayers for all. Van was such a great guy.Had him as a teacher,loved him. Heaven has gained a legend❤
So sorry to hear about Van. There weren’t many teachers/instructors that I could say were one of my favorites in High School, but Van was one of them. I had him as my auto mechanics class instructor during the 1980/1981 school year. Van was very knowledgeable and had the personality to share it well. — Thank you, Van, for your willingness to share your vast knowledge with a bunch of High School kids. Kim Walker DeKalb High School Class of 1981
So sorry for your loss, Tony, but he lived a good life, always put his students first and kept many from dropping out of school. Van was one of the most decent people ever. Known him for years. He will be missed by many. Prayers for you, Tony and your Mom.
A great guy im gonna miss you bud i loved talking racing with you praying for you and the family tony
So sorry for uou loss tony. Many great memories of van coming into the store and our "talks" . Number of years before I retired he was fighting cancer and how he was going to beat it. Great fight.
I am so very sorry for your loss, Tony! Your Dad was very special to so many and will always be remembered.
Tony and Laura sorry for your loss thinking of you during these times
Words cannot express how much Van meant in my life as a friend. So many memories of working on the race car and learning about engines. We had lots of fun traveling and “going racing”. Thinking of you all during this time of sorrow.
Tony so sorry for your loss. I can remember staying at your parents house when I was little and spending time with Van and Your mom.
I'm so very sorry. I wish I could be there with you. Sending love and prayers to you. Can give each other a big hug from me. Hold and support each other. Don't waste a minute of being together. Love you guys
Tony, so sorry for your loss, prayers for you and your family
Tony, I am so sorry for your families loss. Your dad was a great friend. I will always cherish the memories of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Heaven gained a Angle.
Have so many good memories of watching Van drive his really fast race cars, which he built, at the Kendallville fairgrounds way long ago. He was a friend and a good guy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time. Michael and Linda Noll-Fort Wayne
I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you Tony.