Death – Michael John Smith Obituary – Austin American-Statesman

Death – Obituary

Michael John Smith

Harrisonburg, VA – Michael John Smith, 62, of Harrisonburg, VA died December 27, 2021, at Sentara RMH Medical Center. Mike was born on December 2, 1959, in Kansas City, MO, the oldest son of James and Vera Smith. He graduated from the University of Missouri and earned a law degree with honors at Southern Methodist University. He practiced real estate law in Dallas for 12 years before marrying his wife and moving to Austin, TX where he practiced immigration and family law. He retired from law and moved to Harrisonburg, VA in 2014. He spent his “retirement” as a full-time stay at home dad, brewing beer and creating extravagant meals.

He is preceded in death by his father, James Smith. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Linette Watkins and their two sons, Brett Ryan Pastor Smith, and Nicolas (Nico) Korby Smith, his mother Vera Smith, sisters Cathy Langjahr and Susan Kirby (Tony), and brother Robert Smith (Marla), nieces Katie Langjahr and Bailey Smith, and many close friends.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your local public radio station or food bank.

Service information can be found and condolences may be shared at

Posted online on January 07, 2022

Published in Austin American Statesman

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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.