Ned Smith was a generous, hard-working man who was always willing to do things for others, said his granddaughter, Linsey Waterstraat.
“He loved to talk to people and would instantly make friends with anyone he met,” she said. “Everyone knew who Smitty was. He was a fantastic family man.”
Ned “Smitty” Smith, 85, of Griffith, died March 18. He was a 1945 graduate of Dyer High School and an Army veteran of World War II. He worked 30 years for Inland Steel and was co-owner of Smitty’s Sport and Bait Shop.
He is survived by Betty Smith, his wife of 66 years.
Smith loved running the bait shop with his son, Bill Smith, Waterstraat said.
“(People) loved his generosity and many would bring back the fresh fish they caught for him,” she said. “He really enjoyed working early mornings there and greeting fishermen with a smile.”
He loved fishing on Bass Lake, where he had a home for 14 years. He also loved to feed the deer and birds there, and kept his three acres immaculate.
He loved sports and loved watching his son and his grandkids play basketball and baseball. He loved to box and was an avid Cubs and Bulls fan.
Waterstraat said her grandfather valued marriage and family and always put his family first.
He and his wife were always together, she said.
“They never went anywhere without one another. My grandma said she never had to want for anything because her Ned always took care of her. I have never seen a love so real and true,” she said. “He was such a true role model for marriage and what it meant to be a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.”