Donald (Don) F. Smith, 74, Grove died Saturday, Sept. 29 after fighting a brave battle with cancer.

Don was born on April 12, 1944 in Saginaw, Michigan. He joined the U.S. Army right out of high school. He was trained as a demolitions man and later, sent to Germany for jump school.

Don used these talents during three tours in Viet Nam. He was very proud and humble about his service.

He worked as a service manager for a General Motors dealership, a ship loader, and a gandy dancer.

Upon moving to Grove in 1987, he went to work at Simmons Foods. He retired in 2015 as the Inventory Control Clerk.

He was a board member on Cowskin Fire Department. Don enjoyed playing golf when he was able. While not any good, he joked, he loved playing.

Don was a sweet and gentle man. He was just as he was. He seldom spoke ill of anyone. Don was kind and generous. It bothered him when someone called him Mr. Smith. That was his father.

The one that left many scars on his body from abuse. Many do not know the horrible things he endured. He never once used any of it as an excuse.

When he messed up, he owned it. He soldiered on. Don was very charming. Girls, from ages 2 to 100, loved him.

Little girls saw his magic, while old girls giggled when he kissed their hand. He hated being sick, but seeing his nurses rush from one side of the hospital to see him made him feel better every time.

He was preceded in death by both parents, two sisters and a grandson.

He is survived by the love of his life, Patty Smith; daughter Sophie (Larry) Sunby, Anderson, Missouri; son, Kelon (Courtney) Smith, Grove; granddaughter Jade Smith, Grove; nephew DeWayne (Shannon) Clark, and niece Shawn Wiitanen, both from Michigan.

A memorial service, with military honors, will take place at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Cowskin Fire Department, Station 1, on Highway 10, northeast of Grove.

Services entrusted to Nichols-Stephens Funeral and Cremation Services, Grove.