Cover photo for Jay Lee Smith's Obituary
Jay Lee Smith Profile Photo

Jay Lee Smith

August 10, 1930 — July 8, 2019

88, of Cass City, died following a lengthy illness Monday, July 8, 2019 in Huron County Medical Care Facility, Bad Axe. He was born August 10, 1930 in Detroit to Sanford and Muriel Virginia (Hurley) Smith. Jay was raised by his step father David J. Bathgate. He married Victoria Maxine Kappen July 23, 1955 in Detroit. She died February 11, 2016.

Jay enlisted in the United States Navy when he was seventeen and served during the Korean War. Following his military service, he returned to Detroit and worked as a foreman for his step father at Oval Tool and Die Corporation of Detroit. Moving to Cass City in 1970, Jay and Maxine owned and operated Jack's Bar, The Oasis Tavern in Caro and Wildwood Farms and Restaurant. They eventually retired to Clearwater Beach, Florida. Jay was an avid gun collector and a self-taught musician. He loved nothing more than playing music and spending time with his family, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Jay is survived by his children: David (Marti) Smith of Inverness, FL; Bonnie Berry of Griswold, CT; Kimburley (Terry) Donovan of Cass City; Kelly (Kelly) Smith of Cass City; Kevin Smith of Cass City; grandchildren: Joey (Chad) Kreeger of Cass City; Rebecca Cumper of Bay City; Christopher (Amanda) Smutek of Bay City; Alexandria Smith of Pittsburgh, PA; Nicholas Smith of Cass City; Josette Costa of Clearwater Beach, FL; Jason Smith of Clearwater Beach, FL; great grandchildren: Zachary (Chelsi), Garrett, Conner, Victoria, Taylor, Madison, Tyler, Clayton, Carter; great great grandchildren: Liam, Finnely. He is also survived by sister, Maxine Loren of Ligonier, IN; sisters-in-law: Vivian Rabideau of Cass City; Shirley Kappen of Cass City; brother-in-law, Jack (Iris) Kappen of Cass City; many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Maxine; son, Jay Smith, Jr.

Private graveside service held in Elkland Township Cemetery with Dr. Vincent F. Scelfo officiating. Military honors conducted by Cass City VFW Post # 3644 and the United States Navy. Memorials may be made to The Love for Lexi Pay It Forward Fund. Family and friends may share memories, prayers and photos with the family at

Arrangements by
Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City, Michigan
Debra L. Kranz, 989-872-2195
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jay Lee Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Elkland Township Cemetery

6897 Cass City Rd
Cass City, MI 48726

Private graveside service.

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