Regan Granville Smith, a cherished soul known for his loving nature, sharp wit, and keen intellect, passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 9, 2024, at his home in Springfield, IL. Born on August 13, 1938, in Kalamazoo, MI, to Granville B. Smith and Frances M. Little, Regan was a beacon of knowledge and joy to all who knew him.

Regan grew up in Battle Creek, MI and was a 1956 graduate of Lakeview High School and was President of his class. Throughout his years in high school, he was involved in multiple clubs, all the plays and musicals, as well as being the only male cheerleader. Following high school he completed his undergraduate studies at Kalamazoo College, graduating in 1960.

Regan's passion for understanding the complexities of human society led him to a distinguished academic career. After earning his PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, he became a founding professor at Sangamon State University. He was also able to participate in professor exchange programs in London and China, where he made lifelong friends. His dedication to teaching and his ability to inspire his students left an indelible mark on the field of sociology.

Throughout his life, Regan's interests were as varied as they were deep. An avid reader, his home was a treasure trove of books spanning a multitude of genres and subjects. He had a particular affection for films, whether they were the latest releases or timeless classics, and could often be found engaged in lively discussions about the nuances of storytelling and cinematography.

Regan's creativity was not limited to academic pursuits; he was also a vibrant member of the Springfield theatrical community. His performances on stage were filled with such heart and humor that they remain etched in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to witness them. He had become famous for his rendition of Jonnie Ray’s “Cry”, that was always requested at gatherings.

In his moments of solitude, Regan found solace in the art of gardening. His garden was a testament to his patience and attention to detail, with a variety of lilies planted in loving memory of his wife, Lillian Sanders Smith. The blooms stood as a symbol of his enduring love and the beauty they shared in life.

Regan is survived by his son, Robert Jay Levine, Robert's wife Hilary, and their children. He is also survived by many dear friends near and far that will certainly miss his fellowship.

Those who knew Regan will remember him as a man who approached life with a sense of wonder and a gentle smile. His ability to find humor in the everyday and his unwavering commitment to expanding his knowledge made him a magnet for friendship and respect.

As Regan Granville Smith's final curtain falls, we take comfort in knowing that his story—a narrative rich with love, laughter, and learning—will continue to be told through the lives he touched and the community he helped to build. Regan's journey through life stands as a testament to the power of human connection and the enduring legacy of a life well-lived.

Naturally, he wanted to continue teaching by donating his body to science. A memorial service may be announced at a later date for family and friends to remember and share stories.  

A memorial for Regan and his late wife, Lillian, is placed at Battle Creek Memorial Park in Battle Creek, MI, next to his parents.

Memorial contributions in memory of Regan may be made to Temple Israel in Springfield, IL.

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