(3-13-21) Gregg Smith (46) died Monday evening in what Mishawaka school officials called a “tragic accident,” after he fell from a ladder while cutting a tree at his home in Osceola. Medics responded shortly before 6 p.m., according to emergency radio calls.
Smith was a part of the administration at John Young Middle School this year, in the past Smith chaired the science department and led the National Honor Society at the high school. For the Cavemen football team, he was a defensive coordinator and most recently served as director of Mishawaka football operations in 2019.
District Superintendent Wayne Barker wrote in a letter to staff –
“Greg was far more than his titles. He was a difference maker in the lives of all those he encountered.”
His wife, Katie Smith, works for the school district as a kindergarten teacher at Twin Branch Elementary School. One of their sons is a sophomore, and the other is in eighth grade.
On Monday, March 8, 2021, Gregory S. Smith, loving husband, father, friend, educator, and coach, passed away at the age of 46.
Gregg was born on October 24, 1974, in Mishawaka, IN to Gale and Judith (Baize) Smith. He graduated from Mishawaka High School in 1993 and attended Ball State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education. While at Ball State, Gregg met his future wife, Katie. Gregg and Katie were married on May 27, 2000 and they have two sons, Mason, 16 and Kaden, 13.
Over his life, Gregg also earned a Master of Science Degree in Sports Administration and most recently earned a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.
Gregg was an educator and coach in School City of Mishawaka for the last 21 years. He spent a majority of his career teaching science and most recently stepped away from the classroom to accept a position as an Intern Assistant Principal at John Young Middle School. While at Mishawaka High School, Gregg sponsored the National Honor Society, was the Chair of the Science Department, faculty sponsor for the Stay in Bounds program, and coached football. Gregg was the kind of person who was always working, always growing, always leading.
Coach Smith, as he was known by his players, spent nearly 30 years coaching Mishawaka athletes in the MFL, at John Young Middle School, and at Mishawaka High School. For a decade, Coach Smith was the defensive coordinator and the heart of the Lights Out Defense, “LOD”. He spent his last two seasons as the Director of Football Operations.
Gregg loved his family passionately. They were always the priority, even with his demanding schedule. He believed in hard work, ethics, morality, and loyalty, and he lived by example. He worked daily to instill these characteristics not only in his own children, but also in the children in his classroom, in his clubs, and on his football field. Gregg championed for the students of the Mishawaka community with the same passion and drive in which he loved his family and friends.
Nothing meant more to Gregg than providing for and making memories with the people he loved. He made many memories camping, fishing, vacationing, hosting backyard pool and BBQ events, attending sporting events, you name it, Gregg was there, all the while fostering the relationships that meant so much to him. He shared his home, his family, and his life with others. Gregg’s energy was electric and he was the light in the dark. He was the guy who breathed air into the room. He was a man of influence who consistently used his influence for the greater good.
Gregg’s smile and personality were infectious. He never met a stranger and he’s the husband, father, and friend who put the needs of others above his own. To know Gregg meant you had a friend for life.
Gregg was an avid animal lover. Everyone who knew Gregg knows how much he loved his two miniature schnauzers, Osky and Trapper. He flooded his facebook feed with their adorable pictures.
With all that he gave to his friends and community, nothing compared to what he gave so selflessly to his family. His boys, Mason and Kaden, also known as Nutball Bro #1 and Nutball Bro #2 were his proudest accomplishments. They are the engine that drove Gregg to be his best. Gregg knew his best was because of the unwavering support from the most significant relationship in his life; his marriage and friendship with his wife, Katie. Together they formed a bond and a partnership that was second to none. Gregg knew he had a big personality but he also knew Katie, with her small stature and quiet voice, was the one that held it all together. In fact, Gregg lovingly referred to Katie as his “Five Foot Giant”.
Today, while the room is a little darker and the air a little heavier, Gregg taught us resiliency, tenacity, and grit. He taught us to never give up. He taught us to love unconditionally and to live life to the fullest. Today we honor Gregg Smith by doing better, by being better.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” -Shannon Alder
This quote summarizes Gregg beautifully. His legacy, that of living and loving fervently, will be carried on by his two boys as they have had a front row seat to watching their dad carve his name on countless hearts.
He is survived by his wife Katie, his two sons, Mason and Kaden, his father, Gale, sister, Kris, nephew, Kyle, his father and mother in law, Don and Bonnie Mass, brother and sister in law, Corey and Andrea Wilson, nephew and niece, Conner and Avery, and countless friends he considered family.
Gregg was preceded in death by his mother, Judy.