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David Gene Smith

Smith David

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.

6 Comments on “David Gene Smith

  1. Rest in Peace, Dave….you will be missed! Thanks for your friendship and support over the years….you were a true friend.

  2. I was saddened to hear of this today. David you will be missed. Prayers to Kathy and the entire family. David was such a wonderful person who always reminded me to smile and go sit down at work.

  3. David sure is going to be missed. So sorry, and David always had a great word for everyone.

  4. So sorry for you loss. David always had a smile on him and that I will remember most. God speed and Semper Fi Marine…

  5. The entire Arizona Coyotes Equipment staff is thinking about you and your family! David was an awesome guy we all enjoyed talking to and getting to know over the last few years!! God bless

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