David Gene Smith
David Gene Smith
June 5, 1948 – August 28, 2020
David G. Smith, 72, passed away Friday August 28, 2020 at his home in Goodyear, AZ. He was born in Danville, IL, the oldest of three sons to Claude B. and Sylvia (Arjona) Smith. His family moved to the Republic of Panama for 2 years when he was 5 where his father worked as a guard on the Panama Canal.
He graduated from Danville High School where he played football and wrestled. After high school he served in the Marine Corps reserve and graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Math education. He was also on the Illinois State University Wrestling team.
He was a math teacher, coach, and an administrator in the Rock Island Illinois School District for almost thirty years coaching wrestling, football, and girls softball, and serving as Athletic Director. He then moved to Schaumburg, IL to become athletic director at Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois, retiring in 2004.
David loved wrestling. As an assistant and head coach he helped develop several state champions for the Rock Island Rocks. He also served as an official and worked the tables at the Illinois High School state wrestling tournament for many years. He was active in the Illinois Association for Athletic Directors and worked as a mentor for newer athletic directors.
Upon retiring, David and his wife Kathy moved to Arizona and split their time between Arizona and Illinois. They were members of Desert Springs Community Church. He loved golfing with friends, particularly his 9-hole golf league in Pebblecreek. He and Kathy enjoyed traveling and exploring in their RV, especially with their friends in the Rovin’ Pebbles RV Club. They both enjoyed working together part time at professional football and hockey games as well as many concerts. David also worked at Super Bowls in Phoenix, Dallas, and Indianapolis. David loved sixties rock and roll and had an uncanny ability to remember former students’ names and stories when they came up to him even after many years.
He is survived by his wife Kathy, Goodyear, AZ, daughters Christine (Scott) Pederson, Peoria, AZ, Jennifer (Cameron) Dewaele, Waddell, AZ and Elizabeth (Chase) Andree, Champaign, IL, step children Bret (Laura) Daghe, Speedway, IN, Nicole (Seth) Fischer, Litchfield Park, AZ and Amanda (Artie) Woods, Wood Dale, IL, Wade (Melissa) Jensen, Pontiac, IL, brothers Charles (Mary Kay) Smith, Champaign, IL, Tom (Kelly) Smith, Chanhassen, MN, and numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.
In accordance with his wishes, there will be an intimate family service in Arizona.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in David’s name to the Cleveland Clinic or the American Heart Association.