OBITUARY: Donald G. Smith



Donald G. Smith
January 14, 1930 – September 3, 2016


Donald, son of Mary and Luke Smith, was born in Pomona, CA on January 14, 1930.  He had 4 brothers; Raymond, Robert, Pat (step) and Bill (step).  He resided in Pomona, Claremont, Manhattan Beach, and attended high school in Redondo Beach.  


Don joined the Air Force at the age of 18, serving for 9 years as an Aircraft Controller.  He was stationed in Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Guam, Japan and Korea.  Reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant, he received honors for his service in Japan and Korea, as well as the National Defense Service Medal. 


After his honorable discharge, he studied at Carson-Newman College in Tennessee.  Following graduation, he taught in Tennessee for one year before moving back to California where he worked in the Brawley schools for 30 years.  

While teaching at Barbara Worth and IVC, he studied at Pepperdine University, earning two Master’s Degrees in Education and Counseling.  Taking advantage of a summer break, he matriculated at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, where he acquired a certification in Spanish.  


His education prepared him to teach about 13 different subjects, ranging from ESL to Advanced Math.  He was known as a dedicated teacher and counselor at Ruth Reed, Barbara Worth, Oakley, Witter and IVC.  He also found time to initiate new courses (drafting at Brawley Junior High School), cadet corp, coach Little League and serve on the financial committee of Sacred Heart Church. 


 Don, surrounded by his family, passed from this life to the next on September 3, 2016 in Brawley, the town that he loved so much.  He and his dear wife were married for 50 faithful and loving years.  He is survived by his wife Irma, his two children, Karla and Alexander, and his two grandchildren Victoria and Lucas.  He was known for his upright character, compassion, and hard work.  He will be remembered for his commitment to God, as a generous and loving husband, father and his dedication to education and to his community.

Visitation services will be held on Monday, September 12, at Frye Chapel and Mortuary from 6-9:00 p.m. with a Rosary prayer at 7:00 p.m. Mass services will be held on Tuesday, September 13, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m. followed by burial services at the Riverview Cemetery.

Donald is survived by wife Irma Smith, children Karla and Alexander and 2 grandchildren.