Jones Fellow: Sidney L. Smay
Sid Smay and his twin brother, Stanley, were born on August
8, 1935, to Lloyd and Ruth Smay in rural Versailles, Illinois.
A sister, Harriett, arrived in the family a few years later.
Sid and Stan loved the outdoors and could always be found together
hunting and fishing. The fish they caught and the rabbits and
squirrels they harvested often supplemented the family's meals.
The three siblings remained close to one another throughout their
lifetimes; and it was a severe blow to the family when, in 1980,
Stan, a teacher at Quincy High School, succumbed to cancer.
In 1947, when Sid was only twelve years old, his father died,
so it became his mother's sole responsibility to rear her children.
This she did well and responsibly, for the three children grew
with this same sense of responsibility and service to others.
Ruth's road was not an easy one, for her salary as a rural teacher
in Versailles and nearby Hersman afforded few material luxuries.
Ruth retired after twenty-five years' teaching and passed away
a year after Stan did, sadly of the same disease.
On July 24, 1957, Sid married Beverly Davenport in their hometown
of Versailles, and from this union their three children were
born. Their oldest daughter, Candy, is married to Scott Wagers
and lives in California with him and their son Dustin. Mary Lou,
the middle child, lives in Florida with her husband, Bob Kierzek,
and their son. The youngest, their son John, lives a single life
in Fort Madison, Iowa, where he works as an auto parts retailer.
Beverly, a retired certified professional secretary, worked for
many years at Western Illinois University.
Sid studied at Western Illinois University from 1953 to 1954,
and then served in the United States Air Force for four years
from 1955 through 1958. His USAF duties included working with
missiles in Germany for three years and another year in Florida
with the Strategic Air Command. Sid resumed his studies at WIU
in 1959 and graduated from that institution in 1960 with a BS
in Education. Later he earned an MS ED degree, as well as a Certificate
of Advanced Standing in Administration.
Upon graduation from WIU in 1960, Sid began his teaching career
in the Macomb Public Schools. He first taught at MacArthur Elementary
School from 1960 to 1965, and then was named principal of Wilson
and MacArthur Schools where he remained until his retirement
Sid enjoyed retirement, for it gave him time to fish and hunt,
travel with Bev, and search for antique hunting and fishing collectibles.
This retirement also afforded him time to continue his long-standing
dedication to Lionism through his affiliation with the Macomb
Sid joined the Macomb Lions Club in October 1966, having been
sponsored by Melvin Jones Fellow, Louis Battin. Sid was always
a devoted Lion dedicated to hard work and "going the extra
mile" for his club. Sid's volunteerism in all our activities
was indicative of his belief in the Lionism motto, "WE SERVE,"
and we saw this belief surface time and again in the countless
projects with which he was involved. For example, having served
in all the vice-presidential positions, Sid became president
in 1973. Sid was the only member of the Macomb Lions Club to
have served in these capacities, as well as those of secretary
for two terms and treasurer for three. Additionally, he was the
Lion's Tale editor for many years and then volunteered
to address and mail the Tale during Lion Ruth Dove's presidency.
Sid served on most (if not all!) committees over the years
and chaired several. He felt drawn especially to the Sight and
Blind and Diabetes Committees and served actively on them. He
also served as board member many times during his years with
the Macomb Lions Club.
When we asked Sid to name some of the activities and projects
with which he was closely associated, the list was long: the
Macomb Lions spaghetti suppers, the Lions steam train, Candy
Days, Bulb and Broom sales, Macomb Heritage Days, Flags of Love,
Hearing and Eye Screening, Diabetes Awareness, Eye Tissue transportation,
transportation of the visually impaired, and unloading pizzas
at Macomb High School. Sid did not mention community service
projects which helped senior citizens each fall with yard work,
raking of leaves, cleaning of gutters, and installing storm windows,
but he was always there doing his part, as well. Sid was always
eager and willing to do his part and more in all our activities
anytime the need arose.
When Sid was asked to comment upon the importance of Lionism
in his life, he did not hesitate to respond the following: "I
think that our motto WE SERVE says it well and is the very essence
of all we do in Lionism. As long as we help others, then we are
serving Lionism and doing our part in helping our world become
a better place in which to live. Service should be each Lion's
Sid Smay was elected to Melvin Jones fellowship in the year
2000. He was only the fourth member of the Macomb Lions Club
to receive this honor, an honor which he justly deserved.
Sid Smay passed away on June 5, 2003.