Longtime Michigan broadcaster and former MAB Board Member Larry Smith passed away unexpectedly in Rocky Mount, N.C., on March 14. He was 74.
Smith was born in Port Huron, Mich., on June 9, 1945, son of the late Charles and Marian (Cook) Smith. He married Kathleen Marie Smith on March 28, 1981, in Port Huron.
Larry was a very dedicated longtime member of Grace Episcopal Church in Port Huron. He stayed busy in his “spare” time golfing, traveling, boating, and most importantly spending time with his family and grandchildren. Larry had a love for hockey and leaves behind his beloved hockey family. He was a very generous man, always giving his time for the betterment of the community. Larry attended St. Clair County Community College and was an admired instructor in sales and marketing. Larry was the former Vice President and General Manager for RadioFirst for 44 years before his retirement in 2014. He oversaw the operation of radio stations WPHM, WHLS, WHLX, WBTI, and WSAQ. Before that, he was a manager at Wismer Broadcasting of Port Huron.
He was responsible for starting the CAPTURE program, Community Roof Sit, and a fundraiser involving WSAQ and the St. Clair County Child Abuse and Neglect Council. Larry was also a member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters board of directors and served as chair of the Port Huron Hospital Foundation board of directors.
Surviving in addition to Kathy his loving wife of 39 years is his son, Jeffrey Smith of Florida; daughters, Nicole Smith of Arizona, Courtney (Doug) Woodall of Arizona and Lawren (Nathan) Ruiz of Fort Gratiot; daughter-in-law, Tammy Smith of North Carolina; 10 Grandchildren, Heather (Brad Perkins) Hyslop, Nicholas Tollison, Jeffrey (Sky Sullivan) Smith, Alex-anndria Hyslop, Christy (Robbie) Large, Zachary Smith, Dominic Ruiz, Jackson Woodall, Olivia Woodall, and Romen Ruiz; 7 great-grandchildren, Lucas, Sofia, Blakeley, Madison, Emma Faye, Hayden, and Landen; sister, Sandy Cox; special family members, Mary and Tom Quinlan; brother-in-law, Robert (Linda) Smith; sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Dave) Wellman; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Deborah Sari; brother-in-law, Pat Cox; and his mother and father-in-law, Catherine and Robert Smith.
Private services for his family will be held on Friday, March 20 at Smith Family Funeral Home in Port Huron.
Radio First/Liggett Communications’ WPHM-AM (Port Huron) posted:
Larry Smith – a man who’s name was synonymous with Port Huron radio for nearly half a century – has died. Smith was the former Vice President and General Manager for RadioFirst, overseeing the operation of radio stations WPHM, WHLS, WHLX, WBTI, and WSAQ. Before that, Smith was a manager at Wismer Broadcasting of Port Huron. Smith was responsible for starting the CAPTURE program, a partnership between the Port Huron Police Department and Radio First in which cash rewards are paid for tips that lead to the arrest of a wanted suspect. Smith also helped to establish Community Roof Sit, a fundraiser involving WSAQ and the St. Clair County Child Abuse and Neglect Council. He was also a member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters board of directors and served as chair of the Port Huron Hospital board of directors. Larry Smith passed away Saturday. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
MAB’s Karole White said this morning that “Larry served two terms on the MAB Board of Directors. He was also a member of the MAB Property Committee, giving the MAB his expert input on real estate. Larry served on several MAB Committees. He and his wife were active MAB members for many years attending conferences and especially loved the ones at the Grand Hotel, Mackinaw Island. He will be deeply missed.”