University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Remembering Larry Smiley

Larry Smiley

Larry Lee Smiley, former faculty member, passed away on May 6, 2022, at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning, Calif. He was 85.

Larry was born Jan. 14, 1937, in Lebanon, IN, to Charles and Ruth (Hillock) Smiley. He was a graduate of Zionsville High School and earned a B.A. from DePauw University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

He married Helen (Lockhart) Smiley in 1960 and had one son. He had a second marriage to Elaine Dyer and was a step-father to her three children.

Larry had a long and successful career as a collegiate professor and administrator at the University of North Dakota and Central Michigan University. He taught graduate-level courses, advised students and held many leadership positions within professional associations. He had extensive experience working with school improvement through staff development and specialized in educating students wanting to be principals and superintendents. He served on 92 accreditation teams throughout the world before retiring from Central Michigan University in 2014.

He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the American Association of Higher Education; and was listed in Who’s Who in American Education.

Larry served in the U.S. Army and spent several years in the business sector before discovering that teaching was his niche in life. He had fond memories serving as an athletic trainer in addition to being a teacher at the high school level.

One of his most interesting hobbies was construction. He built three houses completely from the ground up, in addition to doing remodeling or additions to several others. He was fortunate to travel throughout the country and world. Some of his favorite destinations were Germany, Italy, Japan and China.

Larry never met a puzzle he did not enjoy completing, whether it be a jigsaw puzzle, the daily crossword, sudoku or various others on the comic pages. He was a member of the Catholic church and was an avid fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes. He attended the Indianapolis 500 numerous times, as both a youth and introducing it to his family later on in life. He found great joy in both snow skiing and general relaxation at Big Sky, MT.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his son Doug of Macomb, IL; sister Sally (Paul) Snyder of Irvine, CA.; step-children Paul Dyer of Lake Orion, MI, Laura (Ben Taylor) Dyer of Norwalk, CT and Adam Dyer of Austin, TX; and nephew Jeff Snyder of Nevada City, CA and his three children.

Cremation rights have been accorded. The family is planning a private service but has no formal services planned. Memories & expressions of sympathy are encouraged to be left in the online guest book at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association or the charity of your choice.