Donald Eugene Smith was born Oct. 3, 1931, in Emporia, Kan., to Vida and Norman Smith. Don enlisted in the Army on Nov. 25, 1952, in Sioux Falls, S.D. While in the Army, Don trained to be a radio operator and was stationed in Japan.
Don was released from active duty and transferred to the Army Reserve on Nov. 3, 1954, in Fort Carson, Colo. He served eight more years in the Army Reserve.
Don moved to Lead, S.D., to be near family. While in Lead, he met the love of his life, Shirley Smith. They were married Aug. 4, 1956, in Miles City, Mont. The couple moved to Hill City, S.D. to raise their family.
Don worked at the rock quarry in Keystone, S.D., and Custer, S.D., for many years. After retiring from the rock quarry, he worked at the Rushmore Forest Products Sawmill in Hill City until his health forced him into permanent retirement.
Don enjoyed retirement very much. He spent his days working in his garden and working outside in the yard.
In 2010, Don and Shirley moved to Rapid City to be closer to family and for healthcare. Their daughter, Lori, became their caregiver. Don and Shirley were able to remain in their home with the help of their family.
After Shirley passed away, Don was able to reconnect with a very special girlfriend, Raetta Arionus. Together, Don and Raetta reminisced about the old days and kept each other company.
Donald Eugene Smith died on Feb. 7, 2017, at home, surrounded by family.
Don is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Shirley Smith; parents, Vida and Norman Smith; and siblings, Bonnie, Leonard, Robert and Kenneth.
Don is survived by his daughters, Patty Leonard, Jill Smith, Lori (Michael) Carlson and Denise (Michael) Anderson; son-in-law, Bernie Burczek; step-children, Billie (Connie) Thomas and Terry Klos; grandchildren, Nathan Burczek, Russell Burczek, Heather Evans, Erin Geuin, Josh Bausch, Deatra Evans, Michelle Darlin, Michael Holsworth, Roy Thomas and Leslie Thomas; 22 great-grandchildren; and siblings, Joyce Martin and Nona Smith.
Burial was held Tuesday, Feb. 14, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis. An online guestbook may be signed at the Kirk Funeral Home’s website.