David Donald Smith

david smith

May 16, 1940 ~ February 28, 2024

Born in: Columbus, Ohio
Resided in: Arlington, Texas

David Donald Smith, 83, also known as Daddy, Dave, Grampy, Daisy Dave and many more terms of endearment, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

David was born on May 16, 1940, in Columbus, Ohio. After living in Arizona for a few years, he spent his wonder years growing up in Baker City, Oregon. He was active in wood and metal shops, theater, the rifle club, and pulling memorable pranks with his friends at school. David married his junior high sweetheart and the love of his life, Jerry Jean Longwell in October 1960, and they soon moved to Georgia with the Army. That is where they began their family and eventually made many moves including Alaska, New York, and California. Then they finally planted their roots in Arlington, Texas in 1973, where he was an integral part of building the ground communication systems for the new DFW Airport. David was a loyal and longtime employee of Aeronautical Radio Incorporated, installing very tall antennas and working on top of control towers at airports to keep all aspects of air travel safe. He retired after 35 years of service making several lifelong amazing friendships along the way.

David is survived by his children, son Michael Smith and his wife Melanie, and their children, Morgan (and husband Blake), and Mitchell (and wife Mayra), daughter Sherri Wade and her husband, Chris, and their children Blake (and wife Stephanie) and Chase (and wife Courteney), son Chris Smith and his wife Simone, and their children Christopher (and wife Kristin), and Michael (and wife Gina), and daughter Barbara Johnston and her husband Eddie, and children Burgandi (and husband Austin) and Quinn.

Their love led to eighteen great grandchildren creating loud, fun, and loving holidays together with an occasional water or food fight. At family gatherings, he often joked that he created a family so big, there wasn’t room for him at the table.

Along with being the best storyteller of all time, he volunteered in his younger years with the Forest Service as a firefighter. David was an Explorer Troop leader and led Mike, Sherri and Chris and their friends on several eventful and fun camping trips. His favorite hiking experience was a trip he took with his son Chris to Philmont Scout Ranch. He even enjoyed canoeing with his daughter Barbara in his later years. He learned all about ham radios from Jean’s parents, and earned his Ham Radio license KB5PMX, and worked with a few of his children and grandchildren to obtain their licenses as well. He was a certified storm spotter for RACES in the DFW area, and along with Jean, he was an active member of the Arlington Amateur Radio Club for many years, including communications at the Arlington July 4th parades. He was a skilled carpenter making lecterns for his two daughters who are teachers and a cradle and rocking horse for each of his kids’ children. He was an avid reader and that is truly how he passed much of the time for the past few years. He could always be seen with his cat in his lap and close to his laptop reading short stories he found online. He was an amateur writer himself when he posted stories from his adventures in the Army on his Facebook page which always garnered interesting and funny responses.

David left a legacy of laughter, love of country, honor in words and deeds, and the beautiful example of how a man should treat his wife and family. He loved the Lord and believed in forgiveness and second chances. He is now safely home with God and his lifelong best friend, Jean. He will be greatly missed, but always remembered with a smile and laughter.

David was preceded in death by his wife Jean Smith, parents Virginia & Edward Meckel, and daughter-in-law Simone Smith.

Visitation will begin at 2:00 with the service beginning at 3:00 at the Wade Family Funeral Home on Thursday, March 7th at 3:00, Interment will take place at the DFW National Cemetery at 11:00 AM., on Friday, March 8th In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Arlington Amateur Radio Club.


Public Visitation: March 7, 2024 2:00 pm

Room: Wade Chapel

Wade Funeral Home and Crematory
4140 West Pioneer Parkway
Arlington, Texas 76013


Funeral Service: March 7, 2024 3:00 pm

Room: Wade Chapel

Wade Funeral Home and Crematory
4140 West Pioneer Parkway
Arlington, Texas 76013


Graveside Service: March 8, 2024 11:00 am

DFW National Cemetery
2000 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75211

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  1. Sending love and prayers out to you all. My parents always had kind words to say about your parents- and they raised such a great group of kids :).

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