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MICHAEL ANTHONY SMITH

March 4, 1966 June 23, 2015
MICHAEL ANTHONY SMITH
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Obituary for MICHAEL ANTHONY SMITH

The Creator of Heaven and Earth is the one and only giver of life. He created each of us for the express purpose to do His will. You say, “What is His will?” His will is simply to love one another as He loves. God knew we would need help with this command. So, on March 4, 1966 in His infinite wisdom, He took a piece of Himself, bundled it up, and gave us a gift: Michael Anthony Smith.

God handpicked Charles and Bernadine Freeland to love, nurture, protect, and guide Michael, this precious gift. They are quick to tell you that growing up Michael was a piece of work; but seeing the man he became was one of their proudest accomplishments. As a child, Michael was quite protective of his mother. She’ll have you in stitches telling the story of how a male family friend simply greeted her and Michael let the man know that he was going to tell his father. While he was quick to defend his mother’s honor, he had a genuine loyalty to his dad. When his mom pulled out her credit card to pay, while out shopping, Michael responded, “I’m going to tell Daddy you’re using that charge card!” Anyone who knew Michael’s father knew that he was a carbon copy of him. It’s clear to see that Michael’s ability to fix anything and his strong work ethic came from his dad.

Michael always said, “If I knew then what I know now, I would not have played around like I did in school.” He graduated from Northern High School and was proud to talk about his career stats in football as a wide receiver. Our children would cringe when he’d pull out his white, leather-bound notebook with all of his newspaper clippings and his college of¬fers. You’ve heard people use the phrase “a legend in your own mind?” Well, that wasn’t true for Michael. Once, while we were Christmas shopping, this guy kept suspiciously eyeing Michael. Finally, he apologized and asked, “Are you the Michael Smith that played football at Northern?” He got so excited when Michael answered “yes.” He shared that his older brother played on the team with Michael, but that he came to watch Michael. He exclaimed, “Man, you were fast as lightening! I heard you made it all the way to the NFL!” Needless to say, Michael never corrected the man. I was just glad he didn’t ask what team he played for.

Every year, Michael won Father-of-the-Year. He became a dad at a young age, but was no less dedicated to both of his sons: Michael and Mark. One may say that they grew up together. God gave Michael such a tremendous capacity to love that He strategically added a daughter, Dymonde, and two more sons to his life: Jarid and Josh. I liken Michael’s affection toward all of our children unto our Heavenly Father’s love towards us. While Little Michael was the meekest, Mark was strong-willed. Dymonde was the only girl, Jarid was the most competitive, and Josh was his shadow. He loved them all the same.

Michael loved all of his family dearly. He was very close to his sister (Raven), her husband (Kevin Easton) and their sons (Brandon and Bryan). As young drivers, Raven and Michael shared a multicolored car (Grenada). This anecdote is a bit hard for me to retell because, according to Raven, Michael could be quite unfair when it was her turn to have the car. She claims that, on occasion, Michael would disable the speakers in the car so that she could not listen to music when he did not want her to drive it. Now, that doesn’t sound like Michael, does it? He was especially devoted to his brother, Charles Freeland, Jr. Michael was fond of his sister Magella, her husband (Kevin Kincaid), and their daughters: Lea and Erica.

In our house, the words “Uncle Michael” was synonymous with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Fairy Godfather, all rolled into one! DeShawn, Miah, Koryn, Joey, Patrice, Zaire, TJ, Kadin, and Ian worshiped the ground he walked on. Although, Michael never stepped foot in a medical school, he was skilled at creating an operating room out of various household items. He could make the best casts by using a roll of Bounty paper towels. Michael was a big kid. A game of Old Maid could more serious than any poker game in the Wild West! I only saw one instance when a child shied away from Michael. My response was, “You don’t know what fun you’re missing!”
Michael was a magnet when it came to children or people in general. It’s almost unfair to specifically name those considered his God-children. And it may not have been an official ceremony, just a love connection. There’s Janae, DeShawn, Taneisha, Jacob, Jonathan, and Breona. I’m not sure who received the most benefits in Michael’s role as God-father, him or the child. Like the time, he threw Janae’s Sweet “16” Birthday Party in the basement. He took great care to place pavers all the way to the back door, so the teenagers made it safely down a slight hill in the backyard. By midnight, there was standing room only. If my memory serves correctly, all was well until Michael made it to the dance floor.

Michael grew up in a large, fun-loving family. The stories I heard over the years are too numerous to repeat. When he spoke of Momma Rena’s house, it sounded like a magical place. The stories he’d share about times with his cousins growing up were almost unbelievable, especially since many of them he could barely get out without laughing so much. Michael cared deeply for all of his aunts and uncles, always willing to help whenever needed.

While Michael admits he had too much fun in high school, he had an impeccable work ethic that he tried to impress upon our children. He was a living example of hard work and dedication. Michael worked at Southern Maryland Electric Co-operative (SMECO) for 28 years and you wouldn’t believe how many hours of leave he didn’t use. Michael often humbly shared with his children how he started out cutting grass at SMECO, and shortly thereafter completed 4 years of lineman school. While not as farfetched as some of the tall tales with his cousins, Michael had plenty funny accounts of the “day-in-the-life” as a lineman. Although Michael was an amusing person, he did not take servicing the community lightly. Once, when we were on a road trip to Ocean City, Michael was driving when he no¬ticed these linemen in the median strip using a unique tool on the lines. He pulled over, identified himself, and then carried on a full-fledged conversation regarding the creation of the device. He had me outside the car, on Route 50, in February, taking pictures of this “thing”...and then complained that I didn’t zoom in enough. My arguments to him were that first, I had no clue what I was looking at 40 feet in the air. Second, SMECO needed to get him a SMART phone. How did he see that, anyway, while driving?!

Often, people list scores of information on community involvement and religious affiliations. Michael did not belong to any clubs or organizations, but he coached Mark’s baseball team and Josh’s Prince Frederick Eagles Youth Basketball team. I think he gave up after losing three straight championships. Michael’s life was a living example of Love thy Neighbor; there was nothing he would not do to help anyone. It was second-nature for Michael to come home from a long day in the hot sun, and jump on the lawn mower to cut and trim his neighbor and best buddy’s grass (the late Mr. Ollie).

He recently joined Calvert County Baptist Church. While Michael was a dedicated deacon and youth teacher at Greater Mount Zion Church, it was not the title that made him serve. He had a heart to serve people, especially children. Most Sunday’s, we left church with triple the number of children we came with. Michael was amazing with children. I can remember one time counting 13 children around our kitchen table. Michael had made a huge pot of chicken soup. I had never seen a happier bunch of kids at a dinner table with smiles and feet swinging, eating unseasoned Chicken Soup!

Now, who could help but fall in love with this man, Michael Anthony Smith! I am honored that he chose me to be his wife of 16 years. I adore him and am most envious of his heart of gold. My husband was not a perfect man, and we did not have a perfect marriage, but he loved me from a perfect place in his heart. I do not have words to adequately describe my love for him. I learned so much from Michael. He taught me about love and forgiveness, perseverance and dedication. He pushed me when I wanted to quit working on my bachelor’s degree. He pretended to be interested in Latin American History. He used his analytical skills to get me to understand various science and statistical concepts. Michael literally wrote my thesis paper for me, asking inquisitive questions that allowed me to compose a logically sounding paper. When I received my grade, he was so proud of me that you would have thought I’d found a cure for a disease, or something.

I always told Michael, “You are the best!” His response was, “You can show me, better than you can tell me!” That’s exactly what I am going to do with the rest of my life: show my husband that he was the best by taking all of his amazing, Godly qualities and putting them into action in my daily life. To honor my husband, the love of my life, I will intentionally love more, forgive more, laugh more, judge less, and become a crusader to raise mental health awareness, working diligently to remove the stigma of dialoging about depression, this painful illness.

Michael was a gift, sent directly from heaven and packaged by God to spread His message of Love. We are all going to miss Michael beyond words. I dare you to take the Michael Challenge to intentionally love more, forgive more, laugh more, and judge less!

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Previous Events

Visitation

Wednesday

1

Jul

10:00 AM 7/1/2015 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 7/1/2015 11:00:00 AM
Dunkirk Baptist Church

11275 Southern Maryland Boulevard
Dunkirk, MD 20754

Dunkirk Baptist Church
11275 Southern Maryland Boulevard Dunkirk 20754 MD
United States

Service

Wednesday

1

Jul

11:00 AM 7/1/2015 11:00:00 AM
Dunkirk Baptist Church

11275 Southern Maryland Boulevard
Dunkirk, MD 20754

Dunkirk Baptist Church
11275 Southern Maryland Boulevard Dunkirk 20754 MD
United States

Cemetery Details

Wednesday

1

Jul

1:00 PM 7/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
Sewell Memorial Gardens

134 Tobacco Ridge Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Sewell Memorial Gardens
134 Tobacco Ridge Road Prince Frederick 20678 MD
United States
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