Richard Michael "Mike" Smith, 56, of Oronoco, Minnesota, passed away Friday September 24, 2021 at his home.
Mike was born September 1, 1965 in Albion, MI to Larry and Kathy (Bailey) Smith. He grew up in Midland, MI and graduated high school there. Mike graduated from Michigan Technical University in 1986 with a degree in Computer Science. He moved to Rochester in 1986 and started working for IBM. In 2004, Mike received his MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, IL. In 2010, after 24 years at IBM, Mike left and joined Preventice Solutions as CTO. At the time of Mike's passing he was CTO at Boston Scientific. Mike was passionate about cooking and was Chef/Co-Owner of Leaving Minnesota Food. He was a Past President of South Eastern Minnesota Youth Orchestra (SEMYO).
On November 21, 2008, Mike married Cindy Walker. Mike was very devoted to his wife. In addition to his work and cooking, Mike's other enjoyments included traveling, fishing, running, hiking, golfing, and brewing beer.
Mike is survived by his wife Cindy of Oronoco, Cindy's children Allison Walker, and Erik Walker. He is also survived by his mother Kathy Smith of Sierra Vista, AZ, and sisters Julie (Matt) Smith of Midland, MI, and Annette (Bill) King of Sierra Vista, AZ. Mike was preceded in death by his father Larry.
A Happy Hour celebrating Mike's life for family and friends will be held on Friday October 22, 2021 from 4:00 PM-7:00 PM at the Ranfranz and Vine Remembrance & Reception Centre (5482 Royal PL NW, Rochester, MN). The family asks that everyone please dress casually. Mike liked his jeans and sweatshirts. Music was important to Mike, in lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Bethel Lutheran Church, Larry C Smith Family Memorial Scholarship in Midland, MI and SEMYO.
Cindy would like to thank Mayo Hospice, and especially Cheryl, Heather and others for all their help.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be serving the Smith family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
There are no events scheduled.
Our condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Mike. Mike's positive attitude, integrity, sense of humor, and technical skills will be truly missed and never forgotten. We were all privileged to know him and work with him. ---The Bittium Team in Finland and the USA.
We're indebted to you for our life line; without you, there probably wouldn't be an SAP on IBM i porting team to write your Eulogy. The legacy you created by - the method mostly mentioned - hacking the first SAP on AS/400 together has defined the professional lives of hundreds, even thousands of people founding their existence on our platform.
Over three decades, faces along the hallway of SAP on IBM i developers have changed and changed again; nevertheless, the legend of "Mike Smith" echoes in the walls; there wouldn't be months between Rajan reciting your story with an emotion of awe that is felt by all who have worked with you.
Your signature is dispersed throughout code which to this day forms the basis of SAP on IBM i for the simple reason that when something was missing you'd build it - the product's completeness was as much about your rare go-for-it attitude as it was about your brilliant technical competence. Not to be forsaken, your human intuition was pivotal in selecting the all-star-team required to transform regional SAP running on legacy EBCDIC to Unicode for future globalization. Globalization of SAP on the platform was insightful by the few because the significance of business on the internet really wasn't clear to everyone at the time.
Mike, thank you so much - Have a great time in whatever world you are now!!!
... The SAP on IBM i Team
Cindy and family - - - I was in awe of Mike's technical knowledge and leadership. But more importantly, Mike was such a joy to be around. I already miss his smile and his laugh. During a lifetime we meet many people, and a few are very special people. Mike was a very special person to me. I cherish the memories of working with him. May God be with you and I pray you will find comfort & peace during this sad time. Dave
It's been years since I've seen Mike, though I smile when think of him. He was so smart, had a mischievous smile, and a great laugh. I also appreciated his profound patience in explaining things to me when I just couldn't track what he was talking about. My sympathies, Cindy, to you and the rest of Mike's family. With some time, as your hearts mend, I do hope the many happy memories of Mike are the prevailing ones you treasure.
Cindy & family, Mike had such a variety of interests .. and each and everyone he ventured into, he did well at. So interesting ! At work, he remembered "too much" about my staffing - hee hee :-). His explanations always made sense .. even when we differed - I knew it was coming when he said "I'm tracking with you" .. then he explain the difference. He was one special individual that will be missed by everyone who knew him even beyond his his immediate family. I enjoyed our happy hours immensely when we talked. Our condolences to you and your family, Cindy. May he RIP.
Ed & Fran ...
Dear Cindy and family, I was quite shocked to hear about Mike's passing. He was a great guy to work with. I really liked his "can do" attitude.
Cindy and family, I’m so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. He was a great man. Tom Barnhart
I shared an office with Mike when he first started at IBM. He was always upbeat and hard-working. There were 3 Mikes in the department at that time, so we sometimes used nicknames to avoid confusion! I remember helping him move between apartments, and we had enormous problems with his waterbed. I'm guessing that was the last waterbed he ever owned :)
Mike was one of the most talented, hard working, and friendly persons I had the privilege to know. Mike, I hope that at some place and time we can play your favorite poker game of "King Low Hole" again and give me a chance to win some of my money back. RIP.
Cindy, our sincerest condolences. We will always remember a golf ball dribbling onto the 9th green at Somerby, hit by Mike from an astonishing and unexpected distance. An accomplished and generous man.
Dennis and Ann Gastineau, El Prado, NM