Don E. Smith, 81, passed away on June 5, 2021 in Hospice Care at Liberty Hospital. He was an only child and never married but every person he met became his friend.
He is preceded in death by his parents: Wilfred (Fat) and Marie Smith from Seneca, KS and Shirley Britt (companion/best friend).
He attended Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church and school in Seneca, Kansas, graduating in 1958. After graduation he moved to the KC area and worked his entire career at Guys Foods. He was a parishioner at St. James Catholic Church for over 40 years.
For pleasure Don rarely missed a Chiefs or Royals game and he had season tickets for many years. He lived at Westowne (Liberty Heights) Apartments, walking the neighborhood to achieve his 5–8-mile daily walk stopping to meet, visit and catch a little news. One would know him by his smile, chuckle, and the twinkle in his eye. Don had an amazing memory and attention for detail and nothing escaped his attentive eye.
Friends from his youth include the Mitchell family, Mrs. JoAnn Mitchell and her five children: Jim Mitchell, Seneca; John Mitchell, Omaha; Joe Mitchell, Seneca; Janice Palmer, Overland Park; and Mary Ewers, Wichita, Kansas. High School classmate Ben Deters, Independence. Both Don and Ben had subscriptions to the Seneca newspaper and would call one another to discuss the current happenings back home. Both the Mitchells and Ben continued to keep in touch with Don throughout his life.
At Westowne he spent the summer at the pool, providing him with many longtime friends including the Roach family: Jean Roach, Joan (Ron) Gibbs, Susan (Jewel) Winningham and Janice Brimmer. Once a friend, that friendship continued to his final days.
Later he met his best friend Shirley Britt and they cared for one another until her death in 2016. Shirley’s family continued with their friendship and included Kevin (Sherry) Britt, Springfield, MO; Denise Lehman of Liberty, Darren Britt, Kansas City, Betty (Jeanne) Clark, Liberty and Dorothy Purtle (Don), Lee's Summit, MO. Shirley also has four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Brad and Mary Hover, Kansas City, MO. cared and supported Don in his final years.
Walking 5-8 miles per day was Don’s past time, and way for him to develop many friendships. These friends included people living and working around Seaport Dental, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, Westowne Apartments, Northland and Newton Ridge neighborhoods, Don Hobbs (postman) and Hailey (Meals on Wheels) and the volunteers on Rt. 7.
Don will be remembered for his friendly, happy personality. He never met a person with whom he couldn’t strike up a conversation
Funeral services will be live streamed at www.stjames-liberty.org and available on their website to view at your convenience. Rosary will be said at 9:30 a.m., and Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 10, at St. James Catholic Church, Liberty. Graveside service following at 1:30 p.m. at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Seneca, KS. Arrangements: Park Lawn Northland Chapel (816) 781-8228.
Pallbearers: Ben Lehman, Jim Mitchell, John Mitchell, Joe Mitchell, Rick Weber and Brad Hover.