David Lee Smith, 72, of Mauriceville, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family in love and prayers on March 18, 2020, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont.
Born in Port Acres, Texas, on July 28, 1947, he was the son of Alvis “Dutch” Norman Smith and Bessie Ivy (Minter) Smith. David proudly served his country in the United States Air Force Special Ops from 1965 to 1971. He flew many missions into areas of Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War. After his military service, he returned to Southeast Texas where he held a wide variety of jobs. Through the years he worked as a police officer in Port Arthur, a Major for Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Newton County Chief of Police, and in the construction industry, both operating heavy equipment and supervising. David enjoyed creating beautiful things with his hands in carpentry and leather working. He also loved animals of all kinds and adopted or found homes for many stray dogs. Those that knew him best describe him as gentle, kind, humorous, and extremely passionate about the things that mattered the most to him. David loved his family dearly and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alvis and Bessie Smith; siblings, Melvin Smith, Tommy Smith, Norman Smith, and Evelyn Mathers.
He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Carolyn Smith; children, Shawna Jackson and husband Chris of San Diego, California and Tiffany Sterling and husband Jonathan of Mauriceville; grandchildren, Adalynne Dawn Jackson and Lorelei Davey Jackson.
Serving as pallbearers will be Richard “Buggar” Minter, Clint Mann, Dan Cowart, Kenny Smith, Ritchie Smith, and William Patten. Honorary pallbearers will be Tony Noah and Fred Bagwell.
David’s family would like to extend a special thanks to all the doctors, nurses, and staff on the 4t h floor South East at St. Elizabeth hospital and Texas Oncology for their extraordinary care and support.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105 or St. Mary’s School at 2600 Bob Hall Rd, Orange, Texas 77630.