Michael W. Smith, 49, of Fenelton, a well-known long time Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes Friday evening, April 24, 2020 at his residence.
Michael was born in Georgetown, VA on July 9, 1970. He was the son of Ronald E. and Mary Lou Pelcer Smith of Fenelton.
Michael was a 1988 graduate of Butler High School. He earned a degree in criminology from IUP and also graduated from the Police Academy in Herman. He was an avid movie buff, especially the Star Wars series. He enjoyed building model planes and tanks.
Michael was a well-respected Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy and had been employed in the sheriff’s office for the past 21 years. He was also an EMT and had earned numerous medical and law enforcement certifications. Sheriff Slupe indicated that Deputy Smith had received letters of appreciation, and was recognized for many great things that he had done in the line of duty. He also mentioned that Mike was always willing to give to and think of others, was a team player, and his thoughtfulness in taking a voluntary furlough during the COVID-19 pandemic gave some of the younger deputies the ability to keep working, so that they could pay their bills. Sheriff Slupe said that Mike had honorably served the Sheriff’s office since 1998, and he will be greatly missed. Late Friday, Sheriff Slupe, his chief deputy, and other Butler County Sheriff Deputies rendered End of Watch honors, and escorted Deputy Smith’s body from his place of death to the funeral home.
In addition to his parents, Michael is survived by a brother, John E. Smith and his wife, Arlene, of Chicora; two sisters, Patricia Felsing of Georgia and Kimberly Sutton and her husband, Donald, of Chicora; his nieces and nephews, Melissa Evitt and her husband, Josh, Kenneth Rivers and his wife, Mary; Christa Whalen and her husband, Nich, Nicholas Sutton and his wife, Emily, Johnathan Smith and his wife, Chelsea, Brice Sutton, Justin Smith, and Courtney Sutton; seven great nieces and nephews; his aunt, Joanne Tomco, as well as a number of cousins.
In addition to his maternal and paternal grandparents, Michael was preceded in death by a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
We appreciate in this unknown time with the COVID-19 pandemic that attending a visitation may not be in your best health interest. Please be with us in prayer. Should you be able to attend, friends will be received at the Hile Funeral Home of Chicora, 339 Chicora Fenelton Rd., Chicora, from 1 – 3 and 6 – 8 p.m. Tuesday. The viewing chapel will be limited to 10 people at a time. A private blessing service will be held Wednesday from the funeral home. Interment will take place at St. Wendelin Cemetery, Carbon Center. The Butler County Sheriff’s office will accord honors at the visitation and the funeral service. The Smith family is planning a memorial mass, which will be announced at a later date.