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Grandmother dies after jumping in Gun Lake

A 66-year-old woman died Thursday, July 11, after jumping off a pontoon boat into Gun Lake.

Laura Smith of Middleville was with three of her grandchildren when something fell off the boat. She jumped in to retrieve the item, Barry County Sheriff’s investigators said, but never resurfaced.

The boat was near Murphy’s Point, in the vicinity of the state park.

Rescuers responded around 4:50 p.m. Smith’s body was later recovered by police and rescuers near Hastings Point.

A native of Wyandotte, the former Laura Wheatley taught in the Maple Valley School District for 37 years. More recently, she worked as an aide at the Little Lambs Co-Op Preschool near Caledonia.

Smith is survived by her husband, David; sons Ryan, Eric and Jarod; and six grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at Gun Lake Community Church. The funeral will be at noon Monday, July 22, at the church. Arrangements are by Kubiak-Cook Funeral Services, Wayland.


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