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Maurice "Mo" Smith '61

August 22, 1943 – May 17, 2021

Maurice “Mo” Smith was born to Betty Jean Long Holden and Sgt. Jonas Elmer Smith in Salina, Kansas, on August 22, 1943.  His father died at the Battle of the Bulge on January 24, 1945.  His mother married Sgt. James V. Holden in 1947, and thus began Mo’s adventures as a self-proclaimed “Air Force Brat.”  He attended Paris American High School in Paris, France, and graduated from Dreux American High School in 1961.  ln the spring of 1963 Mo enlisted in the Air Force Reserves serving as a Psychiatric Technician. 

After his service he took a job at the University of Colorado Medical Center Psychiatric Hospital in Denver.  It was there that he met the love of his life, Vivian Carol Riemersma, at his apartment complex by “acting like a fool in the pool.”  He thought she was beautiful and shy.  She thought he was a foolish kid.  They married in Holland, Michigan, at the Beechwood Reformed Church on August 27, 1965 and were together 50 year and 8 months until her passing on April 24, 2016.

Mo and Viv moved between Colorado and Michigan, until settling in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Thinking they would not be able to have their own children, they became foster parents, inviting as many as 8 children of various ages into their home. This lasted from early 1969 until spring of 1971, when the couple realized they were expecting their first son, Jason Alexander.  He was followed by Benjamin Paul in 1974 and Aaron Daniel in 1976.

Having studied at the Electronic Computer Programming Institute in Colorado, Mo was now in the exciting, burgeoning field of computer programming!  He worked with the Colorado State Department of Revenue Motor Vehicles, Associated Truck Lines, Western Michigan Telecasters (WZZM – TV), and Steketee’s Midwest Computer Services Bureau.  He was with Steketee’s from 1973 through 1991.  Steketee’s was bought by Dunlap Company out of Fort Worth, Texas.  Mo ran their IT department in Texas while Viv and the boys stayed in Michigan for Ben to graduate from high school.  Mo worked for Steketee/Dunlap for almost 29 years, rising form computer programmer to Vice President of Information Technology.  Mo and Viv moved to Sideny, Nebraska, where Mo worked for Cabela’s Sporting Goods as a programmer.  He retired in 2010 and they moved back to Fort Worth where Mo enjoyed driving the activities bus at Westlake Academy for sports events, field trips, and his “special” kids.

Mo loved travel, making new friends and spending time with old ones, music, baseball, community, church, helping others, and family.  He is survived by his three sons, Jason, Benjamin, and Aaron, as well as his grandsons Alex and Carson.  He is also survived by his sisters Sally and Susan, and his brother Steven.