Donald L. Smith, 86, of Springfield entered into eternal rest on January 23, 2011.
Mr. Smith was born to Harry and Ophelia Buchanan Smith on December 18, 1924 in Sherman, IL, the fifth of six children, all sons, born to the couple. Following graduation from Williamsville High School, Donald served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, being honorably discharged in 1946. He was awarded campaign medals for the American and Pacific Asiatic theaters, plus the World War II Victory Medal. He was married to Vesta Steen in 1948. He later farmed and worked in Sangamon County.
After completing a course of study in conservation work, he was employed by the U.S. Forest service and assigned to the Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico. He became the General District Assistant and Fire Control Officer for the Silver City District of the forest, and specialized in fighting forest fires. His skill and leadership abilities caused him to be in demand for fighting fires in various states in the West during his career with the Forest Service. He retired in 1974, and relocated to Springfield in 1985.
During his retirement in Springfield, Mr. Smith was active in the Springfield VFW and the Local Chapter of AARP. He was a member of West Side Christian Church. He became an avid bowler, enjoyed line dancing, and worked with the Meals on Wheels program. He will be remembered by family and friends as a thoughtful, hard working man who gave of himself to others, and could be depended upon in all circumstances.
Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers Wayne, Merl, Jay, and Carroll Smith. He is survived by his brother, Robert of Phoenix, AZ; a son, Donald James (Judy) Smith of Gainesville, NY; a daughter, Rebecca (Douglas) Dinwiddie of Fort Collins, CO; grandsons, Ronald (Michelle) Smith of Kent, WA, Aaron (Jennifer) Dinwiddie of Aurora, CO; and granddaughter, Amber (Robert) Pena of Midland, TX, plus nine great grandchildren, Angelique, Ethan, Lori, Dorothy, Danica, Davian, Morgan, Matthew and Andrew. He was also especially close to several of his nieces and nephews.
Visitation: 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at Staab Funeral Home.
Funeral Service: 10:00 a.m. Thursday, January 27, 2011 at Staab Funeral Home with Reverend Gary Winkleman, officiating. Burial will be at Camp Butler National Cemetery where Sangamon County Interveterans Burial Detail will conduct military honors.