Jeff Smith died yesterday, 20 April, at home in Kalamazoo, of a heart attack, aged 88. Their son Andrew is with Carol now, and I presume Megan will be there shortly, as soon as a flight from California can be arranged.
Jeff, a mathematics professor at Kalamazoo College, was responsible for starting the handbell band there, and subsequently for having tower bells installed in Stetson Chapel at the college. He trained innumerable ringers and led the band at the college until shortly before his retirement. Jeff was an Honorary Life Member of the North American Guild.
Jeff was a wonderful human being, with insatiable curiosity and enormously eclectic interests: change ringing, chamber music (he was a violist), the accordion, cows, tractors, competitive model airplane construction, competitive top throwing, college wrestling, cross word puzzles as a social activity, bread making, heirloom fruits. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Arrangements for a funeral, etc., are not yet known. I will ensure they are posted here when I find out more.