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Canton Mourns Loss of Michael Smith

Canton resident was former chef at Husk, volunteer firefighter and EMT.

The Canton community was reeling from another loss Wednesday as news spread of the death of Michael Smith, a chef, long-time resident and one-time volunteer firefighter and EMT. 

"He was very talented in the kitchen and known by a lot of people," said close friend Juan Carlos Gonzalez. "He was a very good kid." 

Wednesday morning numerous posts appeared on Smith's facebook page.

"RIP Mikey," wrote former Avon resident Bill Fitzsimmons. "I am lucky to have been able to share so many good times and adventures with you. You always did things your way, on your own terms, but it breaks my heart that you left the party so soon. I will never forget you amigo."

Smith, 28, worked as kitchen manager at the former Husk: New American Tacos on Main Street in Collinsville and also for Fitzsimmons making hot sauce. He currently worked at Max-A-Mia in Avon and was ready to start at another Canton restaurant, Gonzalez said. 

According to his facebook page, Smith was a 2002 graduate of Oliver Wolcott Technical School. He was also an avid mechanic. 

Smith grew up in Canton, friends said. A past member of the town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department, Smith went from a cadet to deputy chief of EMS and was getting ready to serve again, Gonzalez said. 

"He served his town well," Gonzalez said. "He really cared about this community." 

Chris Corso of Canton was once a neighbor to Smith at the Glenwood condo complex in Canton.

"He was just a genuine, nice kid — very soft spoken," Corso said.  

Despite his quiet manner, numerous facebook posts talked about Smith's ability to make others laugh, offer advice and help a friend in need.  

Jane Manna September 26, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about this. We met Michael once at Husk, and he was a really nice guy.
Joe Speich September 26, 2012 at 07:33 PM
RIP Mikey. You will be missed.
Marci September 26, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I'm sorry for the loss of this apparently very young man but there is not mention in this article how he died . Generally when a person young or old dies, most especially when highly respected in his community, the cause of death is put in the article.. Was he seriously ill and no one knew, was he in a horrible car accident? I've read the article twice and I can't find how he died. Nevertheless , I'm sending my prayers to his family and friends and hope that this young man who even worked here in Avon at one of our best restaurants, Max A Mia, is now in a better place.. That's 3 young deaths in this area in just a few days span. It just isn't right and so sad even when you don't personally know them.. Small towns tend to care more about everyone, even strangers..
Steven September 26, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Mike was one of the best employees I have ever had. Great guy at work, great guy outside of work. Always was there for you not only on a professional level but a personal one even more. He will be missed by many and leave so many memories behind. There will never be anyone to fill the void he left behind.
Kalia Kellogg September 26, 2012 at 09:50 PM
So sad. We would eat there after class. He was a fan of the Belly Dancers. I wonder what happened. You just don't expect a young familiar face to just be gone one day. :(
Mike Pires September 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM
RIP Mike!
Chris Carroll September 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Mike we will miss you!
Kristin Marie September 27, 2012 at 05:27 AM
You literally made the best carrot cake in the entire world. I am so sad to hear this..I just keep reading this article over and over.. Such a sweet person :( you will be missed so much <3 prayers for your family and friends <3
Cook September 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Mike was a good guy. RIP
Karen's Dog Training Blog September 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Marci Why would you need to know how he died? The family probably knows and that is all that matters. We don't need to know - the family deserves privacy
W. A. Liebert September 27, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I'm so, so sorry Mike, you deserved better. Peace, for you and your family.
Kellie Dennis September 27, 2012 at 02:02 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with Mike's family and friends. I did not know Mike very well but we lived in the same neighborhood and he was always very friendly.
Mark September 27, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I worked with Mike at Max, although I was employed besides him for a short time, I knew he was genuine. He was quick with a joke and always upbeat, that is the reason this comes as such a suprise. Mike you will be sorely missed by all your friends and family at Max. Just last Sunday he asked my prefrence for soup and I told him something to emphasize the season, two hours later I tried the best pumpkin bisque I have ever had!
Jordan and Erin Stein September 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM
We are deeply saddened to learn the devestating news of Mikes passing. He was so young with so much life ahead of him. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those closest to him.
Matthew Panioto September 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
RIP mike. You were the first person i met when i started at husk, and you were so friendly. I came in that first day, and you just kept asking me questions about myself, and it was because of you that i had such a great experience working there. You will surely be missed by all.
Chivas Sandage September 27, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Mike treated my wife & I like old friends everytime we walked into Husk. I remember talking to him about his interest in writing. His was the sweetest smile in Collinsville.
Donna Carney September 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Mike you and your family we my neighbors for a very long time I watched you grow into a wonderful young man and I was so proud of you. Your passing is sad you had so much life I know you are looking down with a smile and your our angel love ya Mike miss you to the moon and back.......
Scott & Mel Vaverchak September 27, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Sandy Place will never be the same without you Mikey. The magic left when you did. Thank you for the memories xoxoxo
Samantha Gurtler September 29, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Mike, my pumpkin, I will surely miss you. . .what an amazing individual to work with, I was looking forward to working with you again, we would have done big things. . .you left your notebook with me monday, something I'll cherish, just wish you wrote your "bacon jam" recipe in it. Love you mike, you'll always have a place in my heart.
Samantha Gurtler September 29, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Have respect for the family, don't ask questions, his family and loved ones need the answers, not the public. Let him rest in peace
Mish Kinsella September 29, 2012 at 02:19 PM
A kind soul, carrot cake and banana porridge king, always sharing his smile, told me he loved the platypus and asked me to add them to my drawing repertoire, thank you for that. The world was a sweeter place because of you dear Michael. Rest with love and peace dear one - may your family and friends find your spirit in nature, food/sustenance, and in the heartfelt joy that is spread with a smile...
Linda Betances September 29, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Mike, I Will always remember the bagels!! Such a special and unique variety! As you are and will always be. A Very Special Angel now, with everything you'll ever need..My sincerest sympathies to your family, for having such a great person to so many people that enjoyed your silliness, caring ways and willingness to listen. You will be missed by so many<3 Peace be with you and the family... _________________________ I added cool smileys to this message... if you don't see them go to: http://s.exps.me
Karen Manus October 06, 2012 at 04:22 PM
my thoughts and condolences to Mike's family. I remember having a few interactions with him, but I did not know him well. He seemed very pleasant. I hope memories of him will help ease the loss over time.

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