David Smith

David S. Smith

Sunday, May 19th, 1940 - Monday, May 11th, 2020
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David Samuel Smith, 79, of Battle Creek, died peacefully at home Monday May 11, 2020 with family by his side. He was born May 1940, in Plainfield, Indiana, the son of Dr. Joseph S. Smith, M.D. and Elizabeth I. Smith, (Toombs). He graduated Battle Creek Central H.S. (1958) and then served in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged.

David worked in various fields before college. He worked as a financial officer at Associate’s Finance Company, and as a service writer at DeMaagd Oldsmobile, later working at Eric Henkel Lincoln Mercury. Next, he was an assistant Manager at KFC. Then began driving a school bus for Harper Creek School District with flexible hours to attend college.

David earned his Associates at KCC, B.S. in social work at Nazareth College, and Master’s in social work at Indiana University (Magna Cum Laude) in 1978. Upon graduation he started a career as a social worker at the V.A. Medical Center in Battle Creek. David retired from the V.A. in 1995. While retired, he substitute taught for Delton Kellogg School District and drove vehicles between cities for Enterprise Car Rental.
David started and owned LaFayette Auto Parts in the early 1990’s with his son David K. Smith. He was following his dream of owning and operating a salvage yard. He also started a partnership with William M. Snyder and his son David K. opening AAA Mini Storage of Springfield approximately 17 years ago. He retired from both in 2019.

He attended different churches before feeling at home with Pastor Fulton and congregation at Bedford Bible Church, where he loved God. He is now with Jesus.

David loved trains and cars. His favorites were Fords and Oldsmobiles and he added several to his personal vehicle collection. He was a life time member of the Kalamazoo Antique Car Club. He attended many car shows, one favorite place being the Gilmore Car Museum. David loved White Castle’s. He loved them so much that he would make the effort to visit restaurants no matter what time of day or night. He was also an avid WWII history buff. He had a large heart filled with love for animals as he supported SPCA of S.W. Michigan, the Battle Creek Humane Society, and the World Wildlife Organization, among others. He supported and believed in The Salvation Army for many years.

He is survived by his wife Samolea F. Smith (Sanford) married 1964, his three children, Vincent E. (Mary) Smith, David K. (Margie) Smith, Elizabeth J. (David M.) Turner, and his brother Rev. J. Kincaid (Carolyn) Smith of Minnesota. David also has six grandchildren, Necia, Nathan, Nicole, Brody, Max, Sam and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, and his sister Nancy (Sam) Malone.

Donations may be made to SPCA of Southwest Michigan or local animal shelters in his honor. Internment will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery with a small private family service.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Fort Custer National Cemetery
    15501 Dickman Road
    AUGUSTA, MI 49012
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Bridgett Roberts

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As a former co-worker of David’s from the V.A. I remember David as a reserved, caring, and low-key man who liked to laugh a lot. As working in any hospital, the work can challenging. David seemed to take the work in stride and got along with just about anybody. I never heard anyone speak negatively about him. A good man. To David’s family, may God wrap his arms of peace and comfort around you & your loved ones. God Bless.

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