Mark Smile, president of Smile Automotive Group in Hempfield, has died unexpectedly

Mark Smile, a prominent Westmoreland County auto sales manager whose family was associated with car sales for half a century, died Saturday after falling ill while returning home from Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

He was 62 years old.

Ismail of Greensburg was a passenger in the car. He was transported by Donegal Township first responders to Independence Health Freak Hospital in Mount Pleasant after he became unresponsive and the driver stopped in the 1400 block of County Line Road and called for help, authorities said.

Smile was pronounced dead at 10:59 a.m., according to Westmoreland County Coroner Tim Carson.

An autopsy was performed on Sunday morning, and the cause is still pending.

“There is absolutely nothing suspicious about the death,” Carson told TribLive.

Smail was general manager of the Smail Auto Group in Hempfield.

“The Smile family has done so much for Westmoreland County,” Carson said Sunday. “People are definitely shocked about it.”

“As many of you have heard, today we lost the worst man on the planet,” his daughter, Taylor Smile, posted this morning on Facebook. “It was a completely unexpected accident and we are all in complete shock.

“I appreciate everyone for reaching out and supporting our family during this difficult time. We will take some time to mourn the loss of the greatest man, and I want to thank you all for your understanding.

“We love you and miss you so much, Dad.”

Dan DeBon, president and CEO of the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce, was still reeling from the news Sunday evening.

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“I'm devastated,” DeBon said. “He was a great businessman and friend, not only to the chamber but also to the residents of the community.”

DeBone said Smail has maintained the family tradition of giving back to the community in which they do business. He said the trust Smail has generated from the public is part of the reason for his company's success.

“Anytime the Chamber of Commerce needed a space, or we needed someone to help with a community event, he and his staff were always there,” DeBaone said.

The Chamber's CEO said that Ismail was able to overcome the pandemic without laying off any of his more than 500 employees.

“I'm at a loss for words,” he said.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be handled by the Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home, Greensburg.

In February 2022, Mark Smile was continuing to expand Auto Group's presence along Route 30 in Hempfield.

Supervisors approved site plans for the new Smail Ford and Lincoln dealerships.

The new facility opened on January 15.

The buildings are part of a multi-phase project. It included relocating the company's Kia dealership to the existing Ford and Lincoln store near the Eastgate Shopping Centre.

Mark was the son of the late Clarence “Bud” Smile, who ran the agency for decades. Bud died at age 81 in 2018, sparking an outpouring of grief in the Greensburg area and beyond where they did business.

“Bud” Smile was an active philanthropist in community organizations, including the boards of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Westmoreland County Community College, the Westmoreland Cultural Trust, and the American Heart Association of Western Pennsylvania.

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Bill Schackner is a TribLive reporter covering higher education. Raised in New England, he joined the Trib in 2022 after 29 years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team. He has previously written for newspapers in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. He can be reached at [email protected].

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