Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ellis 'Al' Smith

Ellis “Al” Smith, who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 8, 1946, and was a Brett Favre fan until his death March 2, 2010.

Al was born into this world a dreamer, a fighter, and a survivor. He was one of many children – the baby of the family - and spent many months of his childhood battling and paralyzed from Scarlett fever. It was most likely during the many months confined to his room, watching from his window as other children rode their bicycles and played tag in the streets that Al became a dreamer. He dreamt of a life filled with blessings that others took for granted. To walk, play, adventure, travel the world and live life to the fullest… those were the dreams of Al.

Al lived out his dreams. He travelled cross-country in a convertible. He worked many different jobs for his father and others, including construction and painting. He was even recognized for his work gold-leafing the ceiling of the Pabst Theatre… stories that live on with his family.

Al married, divorced and raised three children with the guidance and support of his parents and sisters.

On January 16, 1985, on a plane headed to Las Vegas, he hit the jackpot when he met “his girl,”
Janet Sikes. They connected, committed to each other and raised a blended family of his three children, her two, and their two, over the next 25 years at his family’s home in Franksville, Wis. He built his dream life, with an amazing family, a beautiful home and a blessed lifestyle.

An international man of mystery, Al’s business endeavors filled his life with global travel. He regaled his family with stories of great people in cities around the world. He knew the streets of Zurich, Paris, London and Florence as well as the streets of Racine.

An entrepreneur, intellect, world-traveler, history-extraordinaire, dedicated and loyal family man, Al lived life passionately. He dreamed big, lived large, would give the shirt off his back, his last dime or extend his arms in love to those around him.

He lived for quality of life, working hard and playing harder. He liked to waterski, boat and jet ski at Big Sand Lake, Minn., alpine ski Big Powderhorn Mountain, and cheered the Packers on to victory at the Superbowl in New Orleans. He took his children on mini-vacations, summers camping and traveling throughout the United States.

Al was a rock. He was the foundation of his family. He raised them to love, to believe, to respect and to cherish life. Family was most important, followed by love and forgiveness.

Al’s loyalty will be celebrated by “his girl,” Janet Sikes. His love, his passion for life and his adventure will be celebrated by his children, Jim Smith, Allen Smith (Kristen), Sherry Wenka (Todd), Jody Alexander (Chad), Jamie Sikes, Jacquelyn Sikes, and Justin Sikes. His grandchildren will celebrate his spirit, carrying on his tradition of sprinkled donuts and fairy-tales: granddaughters Caila Holsapple, Elliet Sikes, Morgan Smith, Lauren Smith, Vail Tyloch and Delaney Alexander; grandsons Braden Smith, Nicholas Tyloch and Chance Alexander.

A generous and kind man, Al will be greatly missed by the many siblings, in-laws, extended family and friends who were fortunate enough to know him: brother, Bill Smith; brothers-in-law Jerry Sikes (Julie), Jay Sikes (Gena); sisters Marvella Szuta, Gloria Lee, Beverly VanMunn (Hank); sisters-in-law Joy Luna (Steve), Joan Bergemann, Gloria Sikes.

Al will be welcomed at the Pearly Gates by those who preceded him in death: his parents, Luella and Edgar Smith; brother Arnold Smith (Mary); brothers-in-law Joe Szuta, Bob Bergemann; and his very dear friend, Joe Drott.

Funeral services for Al will be held at Sturino Funeral Home on Saturday March 6, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. David Baugher officiating. Burial will be held at West Lawn Memorial Park. There will be a visitation at the funeral home from 9 a.m. until service time at 10:30 a.m.

Sturino Funeral Home
3014 Northwestern Ave., Racine 262 632-4479

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