I wrote the following post earlier this week (Wednesday, December 4, 2019) on Facebook:
I received a call from a nurse at Vibra Hospital in Detroit this morning
just after 9:00 am alerting me that my brother, Martin Smith, passed away at
8:50 am on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. He had been hospitalized since late
August in intensive care at Harper then Vibra Hospital.
I am very grateful to all who have visited Martin (“Mark”) during this time.
I am especially thankful to those who have extended extra care and
assistance to help Mark and me during this time.
I believe Mark suffered from the consequences of his long battle with
prostate cancer. Mark was operated on for a neck tumor in early September.
After the operation, he had no use of his tongue so he could not swallow or
I know Mark is in a far better place now, for he had a very firm and
knowledgeable faith in the Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ.
I have been absolutely amazed at the number of individuals Mark’s life touched in Southwest Detroit where he lived. I will miss him for a short while, but I am thankful for his witness for Christ.
Shortly after I began teaching in Detroit, I moved to an apartment in Southwest Detroit. It was in walking distance from where I taught at Neinas Junior High School and then Amelia Earhart Middle School. It was not far from where I next taught at Cass Technical High School.
When Mark needed a place to live, I agreed to have him move in with me. By splitting the apartment rent, it made our housing expense very manageable–just $35 a month. That let me increase my book budget. I still have all the good Bible reference books (5000) and literature, history, mathematics, and electronics books (2000) from that time.
When Mark began having difficulties with his administrators (Mark was a teacher too) I wrote many letters in his defense. But eventually Mark had to leave public school teaching and took jobs in the electrical industry. He has had a very hard life, materially speaking. But spiritually speaking, he has always maintained a good witness for Christ. He last worked at the Salvation Army as a GED instructor. Mark was always good at helping students learn mathematics and science. I suspect that this skill was not at all appreciated by his public school administrators. I think the administrators at the Salvation Army very much appreciated what he was able to do for the adult education students he worked with there.
I understand that Mark was involved with helping students in a local home school group learn mathematics and other subjects and was much appreciated by both the students and the parents.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be an encouragement to my brother Mark in various ways, but most especially, spiritually.