Donald Smith Jr.
Donald Smith Jr. was a devoted family man, a natural leader, mentor to many, self taught in study and in the sports of skiing and tennis. He had a lifelong strong work ethic, was well respected, friend to all, honest and fair, and fiercely competitive in all walks of life. He left an everlasting impression and positive impact on most people he met. Don passed in his daughter’s arms the evening of Oct. 11, 2022 at Miles Hospital, Damariscotta, Maine.
Through Don’s stories we learned much about his love of life, his work, the people he met along his journey, passions, and his family. He had a mind like a steel trap, remembering every detail of a recent story or one from long ago when he was a young man. Don kept up with world news and he could quote statistics of football, baseball, ice hockey, basketball, both current and years ago. Don had an infectious laugh and a broad smile which could be seen clear across a room. He never missed an opportunity to laugh before the end of a story or a joke he was telling.
Don met the love of his life, Ethyle Corinne Robbins, known as Tootie, when he was seven years old. They reconnected in 8th grade where Don served as a class officer. His classmates voted him most popular, peppiest, and most athletic. Don and Tootie became high school sweethearts and held hands in the Capitol movie theater in Belleville, New Jersey. They were married on May 28, 1949 in Christ Episcopal Church and raised four children together, Donald III, Corinne Susan, Kathleen Ruth, and Kimberly Ann.
During Don’s high school years, he played four years of both varsity football and basketball, and three years of varsity baseball. He was inducted into the Belleville Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985. Don was recruited by a baseball scout in 1948-1949 and sent to the Southern Association Farm League down south. Don returned home to Tootie for the upcoming birth of their first child in 1950. Upon Don’s return to NJ, he worked for Essex Lumber and North Jersey Vending Co. He continued playing baseball with fellow police officers and friends until he was 58 years old. One could always count on a game of hoops with Don in the backyard on Bell Street.
On July 1, 1955 Don graduated from the State of New Jersey Police Academy. He became a patrolman with the Essex County Park Police, Newark, NJ. Don’s formative years of riding horses on his grandmother’s farm in Fairfield, New Jersey where he was born on Jan. 8, 1928, and working as a riding instructor in Pennsylvania, led him to his post as a mounted policeman from 1958 through 1961. Don rode two horses during this time in his career, Stony and Duke. The horses enabled him to cover 700 acres of South Mountain Reservation every day.
In 1966, Don was promoted to sergeant and became the Patrol Division supervisor for the next eight years. In July 1967, Don was one of the patrolmen that led the National Guard throughout Newark during the riots. In 1974, he was promoted to Lieutenant. In 1981 Don was assigned to the detective Bureau, supervising investigations. He set his goals on becoming a Captain, and through much study was promoted in 1986. During Don’s 33-year career as a policeman he received numerous certifications, awards, accolades, and commendations mentioning his dedicated efforts to saving lives. He was President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 54, serving three consecutive terms. During that time Don set up a fund, which included fellow officers to work in place of injured and sick police officers so they would be paid for their time out of work.
Don retired from the police department in 1987 and he and Tootie moved to Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey where they resided for 30 years. Don continued to keep active on the tennis courts at Tip Seaman County Park until he was 85, and drove special group trips for Murphy Bus Service for 21 years. He met with his children and grandchildren often, and was at the hospital for all of his great-grandchildren’s births while living in New Jersey.
Following a stroke in June 2018, Don’s daughter and son-in-law moved he and Tootie to Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Don spent the next four years at St. Andrews Village where he made lasting friendships with staff and residents. His love of music could be heard daily down the hallways of St. Andrews. Don challenged his mind and body daily. He never gave up; never gave in. Because of his mindset, Don walked again and was able to care for himself.
Don was predeceased by his parents, Donald Smith Sr. and Margaret Miller, sister, June Wolfe, daughters, Kathleen Ruth and Kimberly Ann, and his beloved wife, Tootie of almost 71 years.
We wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to the loving and caring staff at St. Andrews Village. Together, they helped give Don the life he deserved.
The entire family of Don and Tootie Smith will celebrate their lives on June 17, 2023 at the Jersey Shore, where so many years of cherished memories were made.
Arrangements were entrusted to Hall Funeral Home and Crematory, 975 Wiscasset Road, Boothbay. To extend online condolences please visit Donald’s Book of Memories at www.hallfuneralhomes.com
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