Obituary Details

Michael R. Smith

November 7, 1968 - October 12, 2018

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Funeral

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Notes

Michael ‘Mike’ Richard Smith, 49, crossed over on Friday, October 12, 2018, at his home with family by his side.

Born November 7, 1968, Mike was the youngest of 5 children. He is survived by his wife and best friend, Norma (his angel from heaven); son Griffin, daughter Zoe, and family dog, Pearl. Mike was so proud of his children and loved their quick wit and sense of humor. Griffin who just became an Eagle Scout and began his Freshman year of college. His daughter, Zoe, is an accomplished diver at Duke Diving Club and a Junior in high school.

Mike was very close to his sister Zoe and brother James. Mike was also extremely close with all of Norma’s family (in-laws, nieces and nephews). He had a large extended family of friends and co-workers. Mike was employed by GlaxoSmithKline as a webmaster and database administrator from 1996 – present.

Music was his soul. He was an accomplished musician and singer whose love of music was always present in his life. Some highlights surrounding his love for music: being selected to play on stage with Jimmy Buffett’s band which featured a guitar solo by Mike in front of 20,000 people; he also met Johnny Cash while eating at the Sunset Grill in Los Angeles. Mike attended GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) and had the opportunity to work with professional guitar players that included Kenny Loggins, Steve Vai and Dweezil Zappa. He has led many bands over the years, each with its own style.

‘On top of the World’ was how Mike responded to anyone who asked ‘How’s it going’? He had a positive attitude and was willing to take on any challenge despite multiple medical issues. Mike was a ray of sunshine in the many lives he touched. One of his many personal highlights was qualifying for, appearing on, and winning an episode of Wheel of Fortune.

Mike has instilled wonderful times and memories for all those who had the good fortune to be a part of his life.

The family will receive friends at 1:00 pm followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 pm on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at Renaissance Funeral Home, 7615 Six Forks Road in Raleigh.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation ℅ https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/PFFTribute/MikeSMith
The Family wishes to thank Transitions LifeCare of Wake County for their support and loving care.
Posted by:
Yangs
Posted on:
October 28, 2018
We have known Mike for more than 10 years through the scouting activities. Mike was a cub scout master for a while. This is so sad that such a talented great person passed away. I still remember that in many camping nights, by the camp fire, Mike was playing his guitar and boys and even parents were singing along.
Posted by:
Swannie Hall
Posted on:
October 18, 2018
Lit a candle in memory of Michael R. Smith
Posted by:
Christine Gillies
Posted on:
October 17, 2018
Mike was a gentleman and always such a smiling, happy person. He always had something positive and upbeat to say ..... and that smile :-). We will miss him at GSK. If only we had more Mikes !!!
Posted by:
Hank Stroup
Posted on:
October 17, 2018
I will never forget Mike's beaming face when finally got him out on the wakeboarding boat this summer. He got to see his son jump and twirl and flip (and crash) as the boat sped along on a beautiful Saturday afternoon on Falls Lake. It was a major logistical effort to get him and the oxygen supply secured in the cabin. But it was so worth it! Mike you can now look down and watch anytime you want!
Posted by:
BILLY GENE PHILLIPS
Posted on:
October 16, 2018
There are so many memories it’s hard to choose a favorite. I’ve been reminiscing all day and I have cried a lot. Mike and I could cry together. He played in my daughter’s wedding and we sat on the front row after he played a couple songs and we cried as we watched the ceremony. I remembered when I arrived that day in my old pick-up truck with wedding decorations and coolers of beverages, I heard him playing “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe”. I finally relaxed and started to enjoy the day. When he played the Daughter/Daddy dance we cried again.
Another great memory was a family ski trip to the mountains. We stayed at a place called “A Big View”, it was foggy and rained most of the weekend, never seen the view, we built a fire in the fire pit, played and sang, and enjoyed family time. He met my parents, sister, brother, and was loved by all. What a trip down the mountain Sunday morning, we still talk about it.
There were many more memories as we worked and traveled together, snowball fights in the Ritz, karaoke at McGillian’s, boat house row with sissy Elmore, and singing “I’ll Fly Away” in the park at RTP.

He was a Great influence and will always be a part of me and my family.

Bill and Hope Phillips
Posted by:
Danica
Posted on:
October 16, 2018
Mike was one of the most talented people I had ever met. He was so upbeat and funny no matter how many struggles he faced. I remember coming home with his daughter Zoe from Saturday gymnastics practice and we would all sit on the couch and laugh and Mike would play songs on the guitar for us. A truly remarkable man, I will never forget all the kindness and love he showed me.
Posted by:
Chad Murray
Posted on:
October 16, 2018
Mike - a truly beautiful and incredible person inside and out. It didn’t matter whether it was raining, snowing or sleeting outside. If you were any where near Mike the SUN was shining! Thank you Mike for the previlege and pleasure of knowing you and being a friend. Thank you Norma, Griffin and Zoe for sharing Mike with us!

Chad Murray
Posted by:
Nanci Lemanowicz
Posted on:
October 16, 2018
Thank you Mike for instilling the love for music in our son Max. How he thought it was so cool hanging out in your "guitar room" for his lessons! Your memory will live on in all those who loved you. Heaven gained a wonderful angel. Rest easy.
Posted by:
Scott Scherr
Posted on:
October 15, 2018
A sweet man if ever there was one. A monster guitar player, naturally talented, gifted. My son, Dylan had the pleasure and good fortune to be the drummer in his band, Uptown Ace. No better people to play with for an up and coming young drummer. I enjoyed the few times he and I performed together but mostly I liked to talk guitar with him and listen to him play, Heartfelt condolences from the Scherr family. Scott Scherr
Posted by:
Nancy and Gary
Posted on:
October 15, 2018
Mike was a great friend, always happy and ready to share a joke. His family meant everything to Mike and made his life complete. Til we meet again Mike. Love and hugs to Norma, Griffin and Zoe. You now have the best guardian Angel!
Posted by:
kay
Posted on:
October 15, 2018
I remember when Mike first came to work at Glaxo as a temp. In all the years I have known Mike he always had a smile on his face - always willing to help others. Lifting prayers up for his family.
Posted by:
John Murach
Posted on:
October 15, 2018
Mike was the kindest person & the best guitarist that we have ever known, we had a lot of good times playing and partying here at the house he will be missed. So sorry for your loss Norma & the kids.

John (Homie) & Cooky
Posted by:
Doug Harward
Posted on:
October 15, 2018
Heaven just got an incredible man. I worked with Mike at GSK for all of his 21 years. My wife and some friends of ours went to see one of his last performances, August 13, 2016, in the Margaret Delaurentis Band at Devines Sports Corner & Grill in Durham. Mike - you were a heckuva musician and artist. You are so missed!

Doug Harward
Posted by:
Al
Posted on:
October 14, 2018
I remember when Mike came to GSK. It was for a temp job of 2 weeks. He did ALL the work in one day and started helping others around him. He never left. He was that kind of guy. A smile larger than life, a positive attitude that was infectious. And his guitar! When he started having to travel to Philly he bought a guitar to leave up there so he'd have one when he traveled. We got snowed in on one trip there and 4 of us hunkered in a hotel room with room service and of course Mike had his guitar. Easily my favorite Philly trip!

We lost a good one.
Posted by:
Nanci & John Lemanowicz
Posted on:
October 14, 2018
Lit a candle in memory of Michael R. Smith
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