Date of Death:  January 14, 2023

Service Details

A graveside service will be held at a later date at Riverside Cemetery.

Obituary Notice

Ewalt “Walt” Shoesmith, 97, of Three Rivers, passed away Saturday, January 14, 2023 at ProMedica Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation.

He was born May 20, 1925 in Perry, the son of Wayne and Velma (Walker) Shoesmith.

Walt served his country in the United States Navy during World War II and Korea, ultimately earning the rank of Boatswain’s Mate G Second Class.

On August 12, 1950 he married the love of his life, Doris Elaine Wolford. The couple shared 63 years of marriage prior to her passing on February 6, 2014. They loved camping together and dancing at the Eagles every Saturday (and, in later years, Sundays as well). Like the two beautiful redbud trees in their backyard under which they enjoyed sitting together, they were pillars of strength to those around them.

Walt and Elaine owned and operated the Hoffman Street Grocery for many years. It was a true family business with all three sons working at the grocery as they grew up.

He was a master gardener and a wealth of information about everything plant-related; he loved woodworking and built two homes from scratch. He also loved listening to old band records.

Remaining to cherish his memory are three sons, David J. (Brenda) Shoesmith of Three Rivers, Dennis A. (Mitzi) Shoesmith of Three Rivers, and Darin R. (Debra) Shoesmith of Norway, Mich.; 10 grandchildren, David, Garrett, Travis, Lisa, Eric, Jimmy, Ryan, Stephanie, Jennifer, and Jacob; 15 great-grandchildren; brother, Dallas (Carol) Shoesmith of Battle Creek; many nieces, nephews, and friends; special caregiver, Donna Rice.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and two sisters.

Additional Information

Donations in Walt’s memory may be directed to American Legion Post #170. Envelopes are available at Hohner Funeral Home.

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10 Comments

  1. My deep sympathy goes to the Shoesmith family. I lived only a few blocks away from ‘Hoffman Street Grocery’ for many years and would visit with friends to examine all the candy and treats they had there. The Shoesmith family was always so kind to us as children and never expressed dismay over having all the neighborhood kids there daily. I was fortunate to have gone to high school with Dennis, a truly nice guy all the way around.
    I pray the family finds comfort in the days ahead. . . 🌹

  2. Dennis & Mitzi,
    So very sorry to hear about Walt’s passing. He was always a joy to be around (always had a smile on his face and infectious laugh at any of the gatherings/cookouts we saw him at). The life lessons and memories he gave you will be something that you will treasure forever.
    Sending our deepest and heartfelt condolences, thoughts, hugs and prayers your way.

  3. David, Dennis & Darin –
    So sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. “Mr. Shoesmith”, as he was always known to me for the 60 years I knew him, was a wonderful, gentle and kind man. Almost daily I and one of my siblings would go to the “Little Store” (it was known to my family) on Hoffman St. Just 2 houses away. We would spend hours (well almost!) looking over the huge candy selection just to see what was new & if we were lucky even buy something!!! He never got tired of seeing us. Always had a kind word or to.
    I spent many afternoons playing baseball & games at the Statue park – AKA – Bowman Park with the Shoesmith boys. Have many childhood memories with them.
    You “boys” were truly blessed to have had such a loving father.
    Keep your most cherished memories of your dad in your hearts, and he will forever be with you.
    RIP “Mr. Shoesmith” 🙏🏻

    Mary Ann (James) Dechnik

  4. Sad news to me, Walt hired me at Hoffman st. Grocery the year I was turning 14 and it was big learning experience for me and enjoyed it and the Shoesmith family greatly through the years.

  5. To Dennis , David & Darrin

    I hope you guys and your families are doing okay. Uncle Ewalt always had a twinkle in his eye and he was an awesome uncle and dad and grandfather.
    Please know I send my love to you in your time of grief but also know his memory will live on in each of you.

    Cousin Bonnie

  6. Uncle Dallas & Aunt Carol,

    I will remember Uncle Ewalt as a wonderful and kind person who loved his family.
    I have many fine memories of family reunions with you and everyone at Grandma Velma’s farm in the good old days

    Your niece, Bonnie Sage McAdams

    • We have many lovely memories from past times with Ewalt and Elaine, they were wonderful people. Had been wondering if they were living as we’d lost touch through the years. Love to all the family, Marge and daughter, Sharon.

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