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Gerald Lee "Jerry" Vanek

July 22, 1938 ~ October 14, 2020 (age 82)


     Gerald Lee "Jerry" Vanek, age 82, of Ashley, MI, passed away Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

     Funeral Services will be held at East Washington United Brethren Church, Ashley, MI, on Monday, October 19, 2020 at 3:00 P.M., with Pastor Jeff Reser and Pastor Jerry Drummond officiating. Visitation will be held on Monday, October 19, 2020 from 1:00 P.M. until the time of the service at the church. For those not attending the service, you are welcome to watch the live stream on the Smith Family Funeral Homes facebook page.

     Gerald was born in St. Johns, MI on July 22, 1938, the son of James and Helen (Tupica) Vanek. Jerry attended Kelsey Country School through 8th grade. He graduated from Ashley Community Schools with the class of 1957. Jerry married Janet Lumbert on September 20, 1958, at the Edgewood Church of God, Ithaca, MI.

     Upon graduation Jerry worked for McKesson Medical Supplies in Lansing for many years. He went on to work for Midland Ross in Owosso and also worked with Wolf Construction in Ashley. Jerry retired after 20 years of service from Ashley Community Schools as a beloved school bus driver in 2001. He was a lifelong farmer and loved hunting and fishing. Jerry loved to spend time with his family at their cabin on Pike Bay, Drummond Island. While at Drummond he loved walking, biking, kayaking and observing nature.

     Jerry actively attended the East Washington United Brethren Church, singing with the worship team, helping with landscaping and many other activities. He was a 75 year member of the ZCBJ Lodge, Bannister, MI. 

     He is survived by his wife of 62 years Janet Vanek of Ashley, MI, children: Sue and Erik Peterson of Buena Park, CA, Patricia and Douglas Eiseler of Perrinton, MI, James Vanek and Dallas Culvahouse of Petoskey, MI; grandchildren: Marcia and John Peterson and Maygen Eiseler; sisters: Mary Ellen Wingle of Lansing, MI, Pauline Vanek of Lansing, MI, and Fran and Don Hutsko of Ventura, CA. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, father and mother in law Lester and Beatrice Lumbert, brother in law Owen Wingle, and nephews: Tim and Mark Wingle.

     Memorials may be made to East Washington United Brethren Church, Ashley, MI. Online condolences can be made at The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald Lee "Jerry" Vanek, please visit our floral store.


October 19, 2020

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
East Washington United Brethren Church

Funeral Service
October 19, 2020

3:00 PM
East Washington United Brethren Church


East Washington United Brethren Church
8051 S. Crapo Road, Ashley MI 48806
Tel: 1-989-838-2314

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