Life Story Services
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
1783 Forest Drive # 184
Annapolis, MD 21401
METAvivor is dedicated to the specific fight of women and men living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. METAvivor is led by a small staff and volunteers, most of whom are living with metastatic breast cancer. METAvivor is the only organization that solely funds MBC research and 100% of all donations go to MBC-specific research grants.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Lisa Smith was a genuine person who loved her family dearly. There simply wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for them. She had an immense love of life and modeled authenticity and selflessness giving to each and every person she ever met. Her infectious smile and laugh lit up every room she walked into. The world is missing Lisa's light. She shared her love, time and enthusiasm so gladly that there is no doubt that she cherished us all.
In 1963, Lisa Gail was welcomed home as the youngest child of her loving parents, Phillip and Charlene (Pool) Boekeloo, on July 9th in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Never one to complain, it seems incredibly fitting that she was born in what was known as the era of optimism.
Growing up with her two older brothers, David and Jeff, Lisa lived a typical childhood of the times. Born to a hard-working family, she learned to take pleasure in their family camping trips and spend a great deal of time outdoors. A lifelong animal lover, Lisa often reminisced about her childhood pet Chihuahua dogs they had growing up. She took great strides to keep her childhood memories alive by organizing and digitizing the countless slides her parents took on their trips together. The importance of family was woven throughout her growing years.
Always active and on the go, Lisa enjoyed participating in many extracurricular activities. She played the flute in her high school marching band and was proud to be the first chair. She often played her flute at church and played from the heart as everyone felt her passion while playing. Music was a large part of her life during her developing years. Like many teenagers of the 80's, she admired the classic rock music of Queen and Pink Floyd. Lisa was a proud graduate of the Class of 1981 from Portage Central High School.
By 1983, her life changed forever when she was introduced by mutual friends to Jeff Smith. Although they both had attended the same high school, they had not gotten to know each other yet. Once Jeff saw her sweet smile, he was all in! Lisa’s naturally charming personality and positive demeanor seemed to be a great match for Jeff. After dating for a few years, the happy couple joined in marriage on August 20, 1988 at the Portage Free Methodist Church. Together they raised two wonderful children; Kara and Matthew.
Lisa had a way of making you feel truly loved and valued. She was an extremely supportive mother. Nothing made her heart more happy than being a part of her children’s lives. For several years, they enjoyed sharing a trip to Cedar Point. They always had a great time at the park and had many stories to tell for years later! A lover of all people, at each and every family gathering, Lisa was always attuned to each individual’s needs. She enjoyed listening to their stories and chiming in with her wisdom on living life freely and openly. Her children always knew that she was there to encourage them without wanting anything in return. She instilled in them the value of accepting others as well as the understanding that no problem was ever too much to solve. Her unwavering guidance and support was evident to everyone who knew her.
Professionally, Lisa worked as a certified EMG/EEG technician at both Borgess and Bronson Hospitals in Kalamazoo. Her coworkers would attest to her ability to put others at ease. Lisa enjoyed meeting her patients and providing them with the best care. She modeled a lifetime of serving others and being generous with her time and resources. Outside of work and family, Lisa enjoyed many hobbies. She loved holidays and took great care to ensure that everyone received something special meant just for them! Easy-going and friendly, it was no surprise that Lisa kept close friendships with many friends from her school days. She lived a very full life balancing her work and special interests. Above all else, she treasured her time with her family and friends.
Sadly, in 2019, Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although this news was a shock, she never once let it slow her down. Her illness did not define her, instead, she looked on the bright side of life and took it all in stride. Within the last week of life, Lisa entered Hospice care. Despite being on her ending journey, she still held sincere concern for others. She was immensely proud of each of her children and the lives they created. Known for her calming presence and delightful personality, Lisa leaves behind a rich legacy of treating others with kindness. May all those who knew and loved her be comforted in the same simple pleasures that Lisa enjoyed most; a cup of coffee while listening to the birds each morning or enjoying the quiet evening moments with a glass of wine watching her favorite TV shows relaxing in the evenings with her husband. Lisa is now at peace and without pain. May her wonderful collection of memories be eternal. Lisa’s generosity and tender-hearted kindness will be fondly remembered by her many special friends and loved ones for years to come.
Lisa Gail Smith, of Paw Paw, Michigan, died on Monday, July 24, 2023, at her residence with her family by her side. Members of her family include her husband, Jeff, two children Kara (Nick) Glassen and Matt (Elise Burkett) Smith; one grandchild: Sutton, and another expected in a few months; her parents: Phillip and Charlene Boekeloo; two brothers: David (Linda) Boekeloo and Jeff Boekeloo, a special niece Lauren and several other relatives and friends. She also has a very exceptional dog, Ella. Her very special cats Marvin and Willy have already crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
Life Story Services will be held on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, at 11 am at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive (269) 375-2900. A reception where food, drinks, and stories will be shared will be held immediately following the service in the Life Story Center. Burial will be in the Almena Cemetery. Visit Lisa’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and to sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to METAvivor.