Lawrence Smith

August 7, 1932 ~ May 1, 2020 (age 87)


Lawrence “Larry” I. Smith died May 1, 2020.

Larry was born in Chicago, growing up in the neighborhood close to Wrigley Field. Larry’s mother emigrated from Poland at age 5.

Larry graduated high school at Loyola Academy (Chicago), then attended Northwestern University where he met his wife, Joan Gustafson, a Great Falls, native. Larry finished his college degree at Loyola University (Chicago).

Larry served honorably in the Army, stationed in Okinawa in the late 1950s, and received a commendation.

Joan and Larry settled in the Chicago area and raised two sons, Philip and Stephen.

Larry was an accountant, starting his career in the tax department of then-“Big 8” accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co. After 24 years at Arthur Andersen, Larry became the Treasurer/Controller for several Chicago-based commercial contracting firms and eventually started his own accounting and tax practice, where he continued to serve his clients well into his 80s.

Larry served on many boards, was on the board of governors for Exmoor Country Club where he and Joan were longtime members, helped raise money and renovate his fraternity at Northwestern University and served on the Illinois Curling Association. Larry was an avid Curler and competed in the Illinois State Curling championships several times.

Larry was a lifelong sports fan, especially for Chicago area teams; at various times he had tickets for the Cubs, Bears and Bulls, and attended many Northwestern University games. He went to the Super Bowl when the Bears won and the Rose Bowl when Northwestern played in it.

Joan and Larry also enjoyed music and held season tickets to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 1990, Joan and Larry moved to Whitefish, where they reacquainted with many of Joan’s Montana friends. Larry established his accounting and tax practice in Montana, served on the boards of two homeowners associations and served the Whitefish Community Library. He especially enjoyed his hunting and fishing trips into the backcountry and attending University of Montana Grizzlies football games.

Larry’s best times were spent with family, with a special fondness for time spent at the family’s lake cottage in Northwestern Minnesota and his mother’s home in Florida.

Larry spent his last few years as a resident of the Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls.

Larry is survived by his son Steve; niece Kristen Pulsifer; Kristen’s daughters, Maggie and Anna, and husband Than; and sister in-law Diane Schwartz, all residents of Whitefish; as well as nephew Michael Schwartz and Michael’s son Philip, both Chicago residents.

Larry was preceded in death by his wife Joan and son Philip.

Larry’s funeral will be held at Saint Richard’s Catholic Church in Columbia Falls in a private service. Austin Funeral & Cremation Services is caring for the family

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