Grand Haven

Gerald ‘Jer’ Smant

Gerald “Jer” Smant passed away at home on March 15, 2019, surrounded by his loving family. On August 11, 1953, Gerald and Connie (Kamp) Smant brought Jer into the world. During the 65 years in between, he spent his life trying to make the world a better place.
He had a pure heart of gold, and knew no greater joy than rolling up his sleeves to help others. When he entered heaven, God said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” He found his true calling working as a lab supervisor for Grand Valley State University, where he spent every day going the extra mile to help students learn, grow and achieve their goal of obtaining a mechanical engineering degree. When he wasn’t busy working with students, he was usually outdoors, engaging in activities such as hiking, hunting and cutting firewood.
Although quiet and reserved, he ended up making a lot of friends everywhere he went. People were drawn to him for his humility, kindness and sense of humor. Of the many communities of people he had in his life, one of the most important to him was The Journey Church, where he was a proud member for over 14 years. He was also well loved by any animals that crossed his path, and he loved them back (with the exception of cats).
The world lost Jer after a three-and-a-half-year battle with Grade IV brain cancer. He fought hard and lived much longer than what is typical for his disease, which is a testament to his strength, faith in Christ and stubborn willpower.
He is survived by his wife, Suzanne, whom he married May 5, 1990; four children: Bryan (Jamie) Smant, Adam (fiancée Anja) Smant, Jeremy Smant and Jordan (Amy) Smant; granddaughter, Mara; father-in-law, Ronald Depung; sister-in-law, Gail Smant; special cousin, Pamela Smant; and many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Rog and Ron Smant; and sister, Carole Ann Smant.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23, 2019, at The Journey Church (6502 Schamber Drive, Norton Shores) with Pastor Paul Urban officiating. Visitation will be Friday, March 22, 2019, at The Lee Chapel (6291 S. Harvey Street, Norton Shores) from 6-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Harbor Hospice, The Journey Church or Compassion International. Anyone is more than welcome to share memories with the family online at

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