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Don Smith

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Don Smith

Don Smith died Oct. 23, 2017, at Crossroads Living Center in Delta. He was 98.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Taylor Funeral Service Chapel in Hotchkiss. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery.

He was born June 13, 1919, in Burwell, Neb., to William and Anna Belle (Davis) Smith. His mother died when he was just 2 years old and he was cared for by relatives in Nebraska for the next three to four years. In 1933, when he was 14, his father died. The family farm and sod house were auctioned to pay funeral expenses, and the children were on their own.

Mr. Smith was drafted into the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector in 1942. He was trained as a front-line medic. During the invasion of mainland Italy at Anzio, he and many of his fellow Rangers were captured by the German army. He was a prisoner of war at a farm west of Gdansk, Poland, for 439 days.

He married Lois Cunningham on March 8, 1946. They lived in San Diego before moving to Nebraska and then to Littlefield, Texas. In 1954 they moved to Rogers Mesa, where they farmed. They sold the farm in 1999 and moved to Austin.

He is survived by his twin sons, Bill (Donna) Smith of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Don (Linda) Smith of Central Point, Ore.; grandchildren, Pam (Damon) Struckmeyer of Holyoke, Pete (Michele Long) Nelson of Austin, Texas, Andrew (Janet) Smith of Des Moines, Iowa, Eric (Cherine) Smith of Draper, Utah, LCDR Matthew (Carolbeth) Smith USN of Memphis, Tenn., and Jessica (Neil) Morrison of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lois; sisters, Dessie May Grieser, Helen Butcher and Dorothy Smith; brother, Leroy Smith; grandson, Leroy Smith; and great-grandson, Westyn Struckmeyer.

Memorial contributions may be made to HopeWest, PO Box 24, Delta, CO 81416.

Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory is handling the arrangements.

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