Lake City—Donald “Don” Smith, 95, died Monday, July 29, 2019 at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital, Lake City. Mass of Christian burial was held on Friday, August 2, 2019 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Lake City, with Father Lynn Bruch presiding and burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Lake City.
Donald Henry Smith was born February 17, 1924, in Auburn, Iowa, to Frank and Janet (Frank) Smith. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1940 at the age of 16 and went to work on the family farm in Sac County north of Auburn. His brother Richard was drafted into the Army in 1941; after he was later killed in action in the Battle of the Kasserine Pass, the responsibility for all of the farm chores fell to Don. As the sole surviving son, Don served stateside in the army from 1946-1948 and then returned to the family farm. On July 22, 1957, Don married Elsie Van Ahn Wetter in Lake City. In addition to farming, Don and Elsie started The Wagon Wheel restaurant and bar in 1970 where people knew Don as “Smitty.” They retired from the restaurant business in 1988, and Don continued to farm and be an active member of the Lake City American Legion. He was a good man who loved his family and friends. He had a way of lighting up the room with stories of his life experiences. Don loved the farm and rural lifestyle and would often marvel at the beauties in nature. He was a cherished presence in many lives.
Don is survived by his daughter Donetta Stewart of Auburn and his grandson Zack Stewart of Ames; step-daughters Marylyn Gillespie of Lake City and Sheila (Denny) Moulds of Auburn; 7 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren,25 great-great grandchildren and sister Marie Yost of Omaha, NE. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Elsie in 2007; daughter Melinda Smith in 2006; son-in-law Keith Stewart in 2008; brother Richard Smith in 1943; and sister Lucille Denhart.