Death – Stephen M. Smith, Vandenbroek-Kaukauna firefighter, died from COVID-19

Death – Obituary

Stephen Smith

VANDENBROEK – Flags are flying at half-staff across the state in honor of Stephen M. Smith, a firefighter with the Vandenbroek-Kaukauna Fire Department who lost his life in the line of duty after contracting COVID-19.

Smith died at a hospital Dec. 20 at the age of 54 after contracting the virus on Nov. 27. His funeral is set for Wednesday at a church in Kaukauna.

Wednesday also was declared “Stephen Smith Day” by Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson to commemorate the man who served his community as a volunteer firefighter for 28 years.

“Mr. Smith’s death was in the line of duty. That’s pretty important, and I think it’s important for local officials and leaders to recognize,” Nelson told The Post-Crescent. “It’s the least we can do to honor his public service commitment to his community.”

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.