Michael D. Smith, 1953-2021

Mike Smith

Mike Smith, a business representative of Sheet Metal Workers Local 16, passed away July 23. He was 68.

Smith joined the union when he was 18 years old, after taking a job with Myers Container. He worked there for over 20 years.

In 1995, Smith was elected as a business representative for Portland-based Sheet Metal Workers Local 16, and he was re-elected for several terms, serving until his retirement in 2006, at age 53. 

Smith worked on the production side, and was involved in the lengthy CleanPak International strike that began in 1998. At the time, it was one of the longest strikes in Portland’s history.

Michael David Smith, also known as “Mikey,” was born on June 23, 1953. He was the second oldest son of Dolores Madeline and Arthur Thomas James. He attended Jefferson High School, where he was a star football player. He graduated in 1971 and was offered two football scholarships, but instead went to work and joined the union. Smith was a volunteer coach in the Jefferson Pop Warner league and after retirement he coached offense and defense for the Reynolds High School freshman football team.

As a union member and official of Local 16, Smith attended numerous classes at the George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Maryland, as well as classes put on by the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon.

Smith married his high school sweetheart, K’Lynn Estelle Pulliam, in 1983. They had two daughters, Lauren Rae and Brittni Lynn.

Smith is survived by his wife and two daughter; a granddaughter; and five siblings. 

A memorial service was held July 31 at the University of Portland. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the DePaul Treatment Center or Reynolds High School Football, 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd., Troutdale, Oregon 97060.

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