Cover photo for Nancy Lu Smith's Obituary
Nancy Lu Smith Profile Photo
1938 Nancy 2024

Nancy Lu Smith

March 5, 1938 — June 25, 2024


Nancy Lu Smith of Richland, MI

 It is with heavy hearts, we want to inform you of the passing of our beloved mother, Nancy Lu Smith, age 86 of Richland, MI who left this earth on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, to take her place in heaven. Our Mom’s strong will to live, with an unwavering faith in God, and love and prayers from family and friends, carried her through a life beautifully lived. Full of love, laughter and resilience she touched the lives of all who knew her. As she was greatly loved and will be dearly missed, her life was a blessing and memories of her will be forever treasured. 

Nancy was born in Kalamazoo, MI on March 5, 1938, daughter of Myron C. and Myrtie (Townsend) DeYoung. Nancy graduated high school from Richland Rural Agricultural School in 1956 where she sang in a mixed quartet and was first chair flute and piccolo player in the marching band, going on to study at Interlochen Arts Academy. On June 30, 1956, she married her high school sweetheart David. They were together for a glorious 64 years until his passing in June 2020. 

Nancy was a devoted employee for over 60 years, recently retiring (after 17 plus years) from the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel where she worked in the office, and greeted families and friends at visitations and funeral services. Her previous employment included Gull Lake Sewer and Water Authority (23 yrs), Wendzel Home Builders Inc (18 yrs), First National Bank in Kalamazoo, Comerica Bank in Augusta and Parkview Inn in Richland. 

Nancy enjoyed many camping trips with her husband Dave, traveling, cooking and baking, and sewing for her family and friends. 

While still in high school, Nancy became an active member of Richland Covenant Church (currently, New Hope Church) where she served as organist/pianist for more than 40 years, sang in the choir and praise team, taught Sunday School, directed youth musicals, and served on the Board (as Chairman, for the last several years). 

Nancy had many community connections as well. She was a previous member of Sweet Adelines, Chairperson for the Swedish Smorgasbord, and most recently, a major influence for the current Baby Pantry, and Director/Organizer of the Seasoned Citizens Luncheons. Both located at the New Hope Church in Richland. 

Nancy is survived by her five children; Bonnie Clark (Dave) of Kalamazoo, Cindy Chapman (Don) of Portal, AZ, Debra Rapp of Keystone, SD, John Smith (Bonnie) of Hopkins, and Rebecca McKague (Jim) of Kalamazoo; also, 20 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren. 

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Gordon and Clifford DeYoung, her beloved husband Marion David Smith and son in law Mark Rapp. 

The celebration of Nancy’s life will be held 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 7th at the New Hope Church, 9300 East D Avenue (M-89), Richland, MI 49083 where the family will receive friends 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. 

The spreading of ashes will take place privately at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Nancy’s honor may be directed to the New Hope Church. The Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel (269-629-6022) is assisting Nancy’s family. Personal messages and/or favorite memories of Nancy may be placed at

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Sunday, July 7, 2024

10:00 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)


Click to watch

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 707

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors