Hearts Love 33

Lionel Elmer Smith

October 31, 1964 ~ November 9, 2020 (age 56)


Known for his big smile and engaging personality, Lionel E. Smith passed away suddenly Nov. 9, 2020, in his Evanston home. He was born Oct. 31, 1964, in Boston.


Lionel’s career in retail management began at L.S. Ayres in Bloomington, Ind., when he was a student at Indiana University (IU), followed by positions at Lazarus, Old Navy, Bloomingdale’s, Joseph A. Bank, Aaron’s Rental and finally as a store manager at Game Stop.


Born with a love of performing, Lionel sang in musicals throughout this formative years before becoming a member of the world-renown IU Singing Hoosiers. He was currently serving as the president of its Alumni Council. He sang tenor in Fanfare!, Sing to Live and performed as Honidew.


He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Evanston, serving in various capacities over the years. Additionally, Lionel was a loyal member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and had served on the alumni board of the Alpha Psi chapter at IU.


Lionel found the love of his life in Todd Bowen with whom he became united in 1992 and then married in 2013. They became Evanston residents in 2000.


Other survivors include his mother, Ollie R. Smith of Marion, S.C.; his father, Elmer “Smitty” Smith of Roxbury, Mass.; his grandmother, Ila Mae Reed, of Marion, S.C., his brother, Garret Smith, of Reno, Nev.; nephews Travis Gaskins-Smith and Thomas Francois-Smith and niece Ollivia Francois-Smith of South Carolina. He was predeceased by his sister Angelina Gaskins.


An online memorial service will be announced for a later date.


Donations may be directed to First United Methodist Church of Evanston to be used in the soup kitchen or to Howard Brown Health Broadway Youth Center.  

Interment private. Arrangements entrusted to Evanston Funeral & Cremation, Roland F. Weis director. Info 847 866-8843, condolence and guestbook at evanstonfuneral.com

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