Twin brothers Mark Smith and Mike Smith pulled some shenanigans in their youth. Like the time Mike was absent for picture day at Wayne High School. Mark stood in for all photos for both of them. Or the time that someone who was a little miffed at Mike approached him, so he pretended to be Mark to avoid the conflict. Although identical twins, they have some intrinsic differences. Mark’s talents lean toward the mechanical while Mike is more artistic.
Growing up in Waynedale, 61-year-old brothers Mark and Mike spent their summers at the Waynedale Park and enjoyed walking to the “Dime Store;” Barrett’s Five and Dime located at the corner of Old Trail and Lower Huntington Road. What was great about those days says Mike, “is that you could be gone for hours and your parents didn’t have reason to worry.”
Both brothers have attended the annual Twinsburg Ohio Twins Day Festival for the past five years. They received a good bit of notoriety this year as they were voted “Kings” of the Festival and served as Grand Masters for the parade. Each year the Festival touts a new theme, everyone dresses to theme for the Double Take parade and thousands of people line the streets. Mike shares that between 1,800 to 2,400 twins from across the world attend the event each August. It was indeed an honor and a surprise for them to be selected from such a large group of attendees.
Mark Smith currently lives in the Dupont area and is employed at Parkview Whitley Hospital in Columbia City where he works in the material management department. As Grand Master for the State of Indiana for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, he is heavily involved in credentialing and serves as a captain for the degree team. He is married to Michelle and together they have four children, and five grandchildren. Mark enjoys woodworking; making crosses and wall hangings. He also spends “guy time” camping at Chain of Lakes with his grandsons. They are members of St. Peters Lutheran Church.
Pastor Mike Smith, born 13 minutes after his big brother, is a Chaplain Supervisor at Visiting Nurse Hospice Home. He ministers to the 14-bed facility, provides chaplain coverage for the 46804 area and oversees five chaplains. In November, he and wife Linda (Vardaman), also a Waynedale native, celebrate 43 years of marriage and reside in Ridgeway Addition. They have two daughters and two grandsons. For the past 25 years, Mike has been creating stained glass pieces for personal and wedding gifts. He was presented with the Alumni of the Year award at Wayne High School in 1999. Mike also enjoys gardening, reading and projects around the house although, adding quickly, he “relies on Mark for the complex tasks.” Mike and Linda attend church at Waynedale United Methodist Church.
Both Mark and Mike are die-hard Chicago Bears fans. Each has the same Bears tattoo on their left arm. When speaking about their team’s season thus far, Mike states, “Fan stands for fanatic and we stand by them good or bad.” The brothers have been known to share booths at craft fairs, with Mark’s woodworking pieces and Mike’s stained glass endeavors. They still get together every Thursday to play pool. But now they keep out of mischief. Mike laughingly states that no one would ever believe he became a minister. As Vice Principal at Kekionga Middle School, Max Lake, once told them, “You weren’t bad kids, just ornery.”