Cover photo for Don Smith (Plainview)'s Obituary
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Don Smith (Plainview)

August 14, 1934 — February 15, 2023

Don Smith (Plainview)

Donald Wayne Smith was born on August 14th, 1934 in Pampa, Tx to Bert L and Mary Adelpha Smith. He was the youngest of four children. Arthur Allen, Naida Jean And Claudia Jeanette were his beloved siblings, and all have gone before. 

Don grew up in the Pampa Area making a name for himself on the softball diamond and the oil camps with his wicked knuckleball. He often talked of singing in the choir while at Pampa High. After graduating Pampa High in ’53 he joined the U.S. Army and honorably served, ending up in Augsburg, Germany with the 82nd Airborne. In Augsburg he met and wooed Christa Kunkel and, even though she was slightly impressed with this red-headed Texan, she finally relented and in 1958 they married. Upon returning to the states Don and Christa enrolled at Wayland Baptist College (now University) and earned their degrees. During this time Caren was born and then Danny. Juggling new babies and school Don graduated Wayland in 1963. Derek the youngest and last (he also says, “the best”) was born.

Don and Christa then moved to Lubbock, TX so they could sate their thirst for knowledge at Texas Tech. Though his family suspects it was sooner, Don found a love of teaching and coaching while at Tech. He taught for many years beginning at Roosevelt Jr High outside of Lubbock. Don also used the itchy balls of the backyard Sycamore trees to practice his pitching, sometimes even playing “dodge ball” with his kids. (The mere mention brings Pavlovian itching.) While teaching, he also led Music at area churches and was the pastor at a small Church plant in North Lubbock. Don and Christa then got an opportunity to return to Plainview when Christa began teaching at Wayland. They were home. Don began teaching and coaching at Estacado Jr high where he taught 8th grade American History and coached Estacado sports teams, everything from girls basketball to football and we’re sure if there had been a tiddlywinks team, he would’ve coached that too. At Estacado, he was mainly known for his fair but disciplined approach to coaching and teaching, his love for his students and his signature pat, pat, pat, pat, POW form of corporal punishment (if you know, you know). Don and Christa poured themselves into Plainview and he served with many, many community organizations, honestly too many to list, but his most beloved was the Plainview Lions Club. Don, along with Christa, spent many moments working with and serving with the Lions. During his 32 year membership he was honored as a Melvin Jones Fellow, he also was awarded the Jack Weich Fellow for dedicated service to the children of the Texas Lions Camp, received multiple longevity awards and was Membership Committee Chair where he “often brought his pickle jar filled with restaurant coupons for the top recruiter each month to draw from.”

After leaving teaching and coaching, Don found his way to the Plainview Daily Herald as a salesman. There he was remembered as one of the most positive people ever encountered who always had something nice to say about everyone and never uttered a cross word. All along Don and Christa also served Wayland ministering to foreign students, serving meals for the Flying Queens basketball players and their family members during holiday breaks, attending every sporting event they could think of and holding court in the stands where each team would look to make sure they were in attendance. Don tagged along on frequent trips to Kenya where, while Christa was teaching class, he would minister through action by talking to Kenyans about Jesus. He also worked on dormitories there on a separate trip. Don even went with Christa once to Alaska where his legendary fishing prowess netted Christa a freezer full of halibut and salmon.

Don used his carpentry skills in working on his kids homes or monitoring workers bettering children’s homes. He was always there for his family whether it was on the roof or the recliner.(Marco will miss those many hours curled up in his lap waiting for the workers to finish the bathroom.) Don’s gentle and kind nature extended four-legged creatures mostly of the dog variety. Many rescues or strays won the doggy lottery turning into four-legged “ottomans” in the Smith household. “Strays and rescues” could also be used in defining the various friends that Don’s kids brought around on occasion. Don loved and guided each and everyone of them along with gently chiding them for wrong actions.

As much as Don took care of others, others took care of him and Christa. Cherished and lifelong friends were always a part of Don’s life.  Fred and Glynda are close friends and neighbors who shared coffee and communion several times weekly. Lifelong friends whether in the States, or abroad included Charmazel, Phil and Marian, Karla & Otfried (and Schnuffy). Alexey, Johnny & Aubrey or pretty much any international acquaintance within 100 miles.

In later years Don’s eyesight had diminished due to macular degeneration which was disconcerting to him, but provided loads of fun and frivolity when he would ask Siri to text his children and grandchildren. Poor Siri did not always understand him and tried her best to translate his thoughts to the best of her limited ability. Ask about the text of February 10th.  There’s was a love/hate relationship.

Don was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Plainview for almost 50 years. He was a deacon for most of those and was a member of the Formby Sunday School Class often called upon to teach or contribute. Don and Christa love the Lord and were witnesses, not only in heart and mind but in entirety.

“The Church triumphant is a place of beauty, comfort, peace, and eternal love. Remember, he sits with our Savior now and there is nothing more pleasing to our Lord than to have him there.”

Don is survived by Christa, his wife of 65 years, three children, Caren Smith of Plainview, Danny and wife, Nan, of Amarillo, Derek and wife, Brenda, of Lubbock. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Bailee, and partner Sito, of Brownfield, Saige, and partner AJ, of Lubbock and Kade, currently in Grand Prairie. There are two great grandchildren, Wyatt and Isabella. Many nieces and nephews worldwide complete the story of a life well lived.

Services will be Monday, February 20th, 2023 at 11:00am at the First Baptist Church of Plainview, TX. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lions Club of Plainview, TX or a charity of your choice.

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Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, February 20, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

First Baptist Church - Plainview

205 West 8th Street, Plainview, TX 79072

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