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Welcome to the memorial page for

Harold William Smage

July 28, 1924 ~ April 28, 2017 (age 92)

Elkhorn--Harold W. Smage, 92, died peacefully in the presence of  family members on the land he loved.  He was a  69 year resident on Bray Road.  Smage was born in Chicago on July 28, 1924,  the son of Latvian immigrants Andrew and Anna Smage.   He graduated from Crystal Lake High School in 1941 and attended an agricultural short course at the University of Illinois .

His favorite place as a child was the Garfield Park Conservatory, and his favorite activity was growing  vegetables at the family’s summer cottage.  He was 11 when they bought a 40 acre farm that came with two ponies, a few cows, miscellaneous equipment, and a hired man that plowed fields and spread manure with  mules.  At 16, he convinced his parents to let the hired man go, and he took over as the sole operator of the farm and its expanded herd. His mother embraced farming, but his  father commuted lifelong to a job in Chicago. In 1947, they moved to a 240 acre farm near Woodstock.

He met his life partner, Joy Gernhardt, at the McHenry roller skating rink.  They were married  Sept. 11, 1948 in Immanuel Lutheran Church, Crystal Lake.  On  March 1, 1949, Harold and Joy moved to their newly purchased farm on Bray Road, having sold all but seven of his half of a herd of cows and newest machinery to raise the 33%  down-payment.  Thus began the story of a family, a farm, and even an industry for it took place over eight decades of the most drastic changes the world has ever seen in its most basic industry, with Harold starting with the iconic “40 acres and a mule” and ending with the monster machines that enable his sons to accomplish in hours what it took him and Joy days, if not weeks, to accomplish.

In the mid-50s, Harold  sold the cows and focused on his passion for growing crops.  His other passions were maintaining the farm drainage system, playing his large church model Hammond organ,  and sun, sand, and surf.  Harold and Joy took many trips to Hawaii, Mexico, Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands, many of them accompanied by family members,  culminating in a 65th anniversary family week in the Caribbean in 2013.

Harold is survived by his wife, Joy; a brother, Bob Smage (Sharon) of Texas and Edgerton; four children: Terry Johnson of Lake Mills,  Robin Charles of Racine,  Harold Jr. (Corine), and Noel (Sharilyn) of Elkhorn; as well as 12 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren,  and generations of  nieces and nephews.   He was preceded in death by a younger brother, Edward, during childhood, his parents, and a sister-in-law, Patricia Smage.

A visitation will be held Sat. May 6  from 9 A.M. to 11 A.M. at ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 104 S. Broad St. Elkhorn,  followed by  a Memorial service at 11 A.M. with the Rev. Tom De Groot officiating.  A luncheon will follow.  Interment will take place Sun. Sept. 3 at the Pond at Smage Farms annual Cornfest.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to your favorite charity.

The family is being assisted by Haase-Lockwood & Associates Funeral Home.

 


 Service Information

Visitation
Saturday
May 6, 2017

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. John's Lutheran Church
104 S Broad St.
Elkhorn, WI 53121

Memorial Service
Saturday
May 6, 2017

11:00 AM
St. John's Lutheran Church
104 S Broad St.
Elkhorn, WI 53121


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