Cover photo for Philip R. Smith's Obituary
Philip R. Smith Profile Photo

Philip R. Smith

October 5, 1947 — May 30, 2023

Johannesburg, Michigan

Philip R. Smith

Philip Roland Smith, 75 of Johannesburg, passed away unexpectedly at home on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.

Born on October 5, 1947, in Lansing, Michigan, he was the son of Claude and Lucille (Laycock) Smith.  Phil grew up in Leslie, Michigan and was a 1966 graduate of Leslie High School.  He went on to receive associate degrees in engineering and business management & real estate.

On October 2, 1993, Phil was married to Dorothy Ann (LaPointe) Peppel in Mason, Michigan.  They lived for many years in Grand Ledge and Leslie, while Phil worked for 35 years as a tool and die maker at General Motors.  He also spent 12 years as a real estate broker, 20 years as a fire & rescue volunteer and 29 years as a volunteer Santa.  In retirement, Phil and Annie moved to Johannesburg, where he enjoyed building their retirement home.

Phil enjoyed building and woodworking, website building and management, and volunteering as Santa for charities.  He was a member of St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord, and he was a 4th degree member of Gaylord Knights of Columbus. 

Phil is survived by Dorothy Ann “Annie”, his wife of almost 30 years; sisters, Claudia Ireland of Mason, Marilyn (Chuck) Adams of Mason, Diane Hull of Laguna Woods, CA and Nancy Fox of Irvine, CA; grandchildren, Alysa Smith, Zahlon Sampson, LaQueel Sampson, K-Meel Sampson, and Kameyo Sampson all of Lansing; stepchildren, William (Melissa Goodman) Peppel and Jeff (Robin Spring) Peppel; grandchildren, Danielle (Charles) Hine and Julie (Jacob) Panetta; and three great grandchildren, Will, Harper, and Grant Hine.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Diane Smith Hull; and a brother-in-law, James Ireland.

Visitation will be held at Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service from 4:00-6:30 PM Thursday, June 8, 2023, followed by a Rosary at 6:30 PM.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM Friday, June 9, 2023, at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord where visitation will begin at 9:30 AM.  Burial will be at Maple Grove Cemetery in Mason, Michigan. 

Those who wish are asked to consider memorial contributions to the Otsego County Food Pantry or Otsego County Animal Shelter.

Arrangements are by Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service.  Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Philip R. Smith, please visit our flower store.


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