David Smith

David Ellsworth Smith

Wednesday, November 17th, 1943 - Monday, October 19th, 2020
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David Ellsworth Smith of Bonita Springs, FL passed away on October 19, 2020 at the age of 76. After several years of declining health, Coach Smith died peacefully with his wife Donna and two sons, Mike and Mark by his side. In his last days, David thoroughly enjoyed hearing stories from literally hundreds of his former students, players and colleagues. He also appreciated hearing well wishes from family and friends.

David was born in Milwaukee, WI on November 17th, 1943 to father Maurice Irving Smith and mother Marian Harriet Smith. The oldest of 4 siblings, David grew up in Downers Grove and attended Purdue University. To the very end, he was extremely proud of being a Reamer. David spent his professional life coaching and teaching others. Namely, he was a math teacher, football coach, and athletic director at Hinsdale South High School. He was inducted into the Illinois HS Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame in 2001. One of the great joys came in the recognition and recent Hall of Fame induction he received with the staff and players of his 1980-81 football team. He remained close with many of the athletes he coached throughout his career including this special team which finished second in state. In retirement, he was the president of Spanish Wells Country club and rose to be the chairman of all volunteers for the senior’s PGA and LPGA events held in Naples, FL.

David enjoyed playing golf, traveling and spending time with his family and friends. He and Donna loved to host both up at their cottage on Clear Lake in Tomahawk, WI and their home in Bonita Springs. David will be remembered for his sense of humor, his impact on others and his patience to teach all of his grandchildren how to drive using his golf carts.

David was preceded in death by his parents and his two sisters Nancy Doerhoefer and Marylyn Marquardt. He is survived by his wife Donna Grace Smith; brother Mick Smith (Susan); sister-in law Eileen, brother-in-law Mitch (Diane), sister-in law-Maryann (Mike); children Mike (Daria) Smith and Mark (Christine) Smith; stepchildren Bob Giltrow (Marsha) and Linda Obradovic (Mitch); grandchildren Natalie, Erica, Brianna and Haleigh; step grandchildren Jacob, Brandon, Danielle, Nikola and Mia; step great-grandson Will; many loved nieces and nephews.

The family has decided that there will not be a funeral at this time. Details regarding 2 different celebration-of-life gatherings (one in Florida and one in Illinois) will be shared at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Alzeimers Support Network at 660 Tamiami Trail North Suite #21 Naples, FL 34102

We wish to extend our gratitude to: Hope Hospice; Alzeimers Support Network; Inspired Living and Life Home Health.
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John Bassier

Posted at 11:34am
Dearest Donna,
We have never forgotten you and Dave. I am sorry that the years have slipped through my fingers and I have not contacted you.
My father passed away after a battle like Dave's. It is a tough way to go. Mary K. and I are thinking of you and hoping that the wonderful memories will sustain you. Donna, I am so thankful that you were a big part of my life. Your generosity in the fall of 1986, when you let us live with you until we could get in our new home, was a special time for us. Thank you!!!!! Michael, Jeremy and Gretchen still talk of those months when your laughter and friendship helped us through a rough period. During our stay with you I was able to talk football with Dave and get some new knowledge (and plays). He was always smiling and ready to encourage me. I am glad that you found him along life's road and I am happy that you had many good years together.
John, Mary K., Michael, Jeremy and Gretchen
"the Bassiers"

Thanks for including the photo of your wedding day in the photo montage.

Joseph Dalpiaz

Posted at 10:44pm
I first met Dave 54 years ago when we were both teachers and coaches at Hinsdale South High School. Dave was an outstanding teacher and coach. His tenure as Athletic Director was equally outstanding. He was well liked and admired by all he worked with. Enthusiasm was his middle name. As a professional colleague he was super dedicated and a joy to work with. As a friend, you couldn’t find one better. I am going to miss getting together with Dave and Donna each January. Carolyn and I express our deepest sympathies to Donna, Dave’s sons, Michael and Mark and their wives, his grandchildren, and to all who knew and loved Dave.
With love and prayers,
Joe Dalpiaz


Thomas Tower

Posted at 01:25pm
Dave and Donna; Tom and Anne Tower; Joe and Marti Alford
Guys from Purdue 65

Thomas Tower

Posted at 01:19pm
Tom Tower - A Tribute to Dave Smith
I first met Dave Smith at Cary Hall East as a fellow freshman at Purdue University. We roomed together for our freshman and sophomore years. Dave ran for president of East for our junior year and he put my name with his (Smith – Tower) on the banner he hung from the south wall of Cary East. He did it to help me get some exposure in my quest for becoming Host (teaching table manners to freshman). He won, I did not, but everyone knew he cared for his old roomy enough to support him!
We had a lot of courses together after he switched his major from engineering to Math Education. Our final semester we did our student teaching near each other in the corner of Northwest Indiana. We decided to commute from Purdue to our respective assignments for our 8 weeks of student teaching. We had an absolute blast and even swapped classes one day and tried to hoodwink our students by having inside information on their names and “details” of their personal lives. During the week we would live with his folks in Downers Grove, Illinois, and scoot down to Purdue for some weekend romance!! Then zip back north on Monday morning to teach another week, spending nights in Downers Grove.
One fine Monday morning I had forgotten to fill up on gas, costing 21cents a gallon back then. The car sputtered and died at the top of a hill about 7 miles from school. We coasted down the hill a long mile, across some railroad tracks, and snuck through the end of a green light into a gas station and up to the pump without an inch to spare. Dave never let me forget that one!
After graduation, I was the first of our group to get married and Dave was part of the wedding party. Then I was off for an Air Force career and Dave a high school teacher and coach. We kept up with each other mostly through Christmas Cards for the next 50 years until we had both retired and finally reconnected in person about 5 years ago. Since then, my wife, Anne, and I, have imposed on Dave and Donna’s Floridian Hospitality (got our Golf Smith Tee Shirts) and have hosted them for a couple of days in ole Virginia! They reign supreme as King and Queen of hospitality!!! As their saying goes “Smithery Loves Company” and it certainly proved true in our experience.
Dave will be greatly missed but well remembered. By me, for all the above and many more memories of our Purdue years and for some fun times golfing in recent days. He was a true gentleman, with a kind and tender heart. His was a life well lived.
Early last Monday morning, October 19, I believe the pearly gates heard a clanging bell and then a familiar cry of “Boiler Up” and the heavens echoed back “Hammer Down!”


Robert A Morse

Posted at 08:57pm
My sincere condolences to Donna and family. David was a wonderful fellow and friend to everyone. All will always remember “THE BIG GUY”.

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