Donald Allen Smith, 72, of Egg Harbor, WI passed away peacefully on Saturday morning, November 24, 2018 at his home with his wife and daughters at his side.
He was born August 27, 1946 in Chicago, IL, the son of the late Valentine Allen and Ruth Rose (Pavlick) Smith, Jr. Donald was the third generation to attend the Joseph Sears Elementary School in Kenilworth, IL. Following his graduation in 1966 from New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL, Donald then went on to attend the University of Wisconsin – Stout followed by five years of service in the Naval Air Reserve. His grandfather, Valentine Allen Smith, Sr., founded V.A. Smith Company, a Commercial Heating & Air Conditioning Company in 1909 in Chicago. Donald grew up working there as a young boy for his grandfather, and later his father. He eventually took over the business for his father, becoming the President and Owner of the family business until he sold it and retired in 1999, 90 years later.
Donald lived a life on the water and loved the outdoors. He was a sailor first in his early years on Lake Michigan, completing the 333-mile Race to Mackinac Island. In his 30’s, when children came into the picture, he transitioned to power-boating and became a member of Sheridan Shores Yacht Club in Wilmette, IL. He kept his boat there for many years before moving it to Waukegan Harbor in Waukegan, IL. Following his retirement, Don visited Longboat Key, FL, where he ultimately settled and relocated his boat, cruising it down the Mississippi River and out the Tombigbee Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico. He spent much of his retirement enjoying cruising the Great American Loop. He met his wife, Virginia “Gigi,” in 2010 in the Longboat Key / Sarasota area. The two were united in marriage on June 9, 2014 at the Butterfly Conservatory in Key West, FL surrounded by their daughters and grandchildren. For Don, a “good day” was always a day spent on the water.
Donald also was a snow person, and spent years skiing and snowmobiling in northern Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Canada, and out west. He toured these areas hundreds of miles at a time with his friends, family, and children. Don spent his final years residing with his wife, Gigi, and little dog, Sailor, in Horseshoe Bay, Egg Harbor, overlooking the waters of Green Bay, in scenic Door County, WI.
Donald will be missed by his two daughters, Lindsay (West) Naze of Larchmont, NY and Courtney (Matthew) Cook of Wilmette, IL; wife, Gigi Smith; stepdaughter, Ellen Dudley of New Bedford, MA; five grandchildren, Chase Edward and Hunter Valentine Naze and Kevin Anthony, Virginia Anne, and Madeleine Rose Cook; and sister and brother, Suzanne (Charles) Sprowl and Allen Smith, both of Wilmette, IL.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Valentine Allen Jr. and Ruth Rose Smith.
A celebration of Don’s life will be held on Sunday, January 13, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Michigan Shores Club, 911 Michigan Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091. Celebration blessings will begin promptly at 1:45 p.m.
In memory of Donald A. Smith, contributions may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486 or www.mdanderson.org/gifts
Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC are assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Donald may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.