Douglas Smith

January 10, 1922 ~ January 2, 2022 (age 99)


Douglas Smith, 99, of Aberdeen, SD, passed away Sunday, January 2, 2022, at Avera Mother Joseph Manor in Aberdeen, SD.

Mass of Christian Burial is 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at Sacred Heart Church, Aberdeen, SD with Father Mark Axtmann officiating.

Burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery with Military Honors.

Visitation is 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, January 11 at the mortuary with a 7 p.m. liturgical wake and rosary.  Visitation continues one hour before Mass at the church on Wednesday.

Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements.  Family and friends may sign the online guestbook and also view the service at

Douglas Philip Smith, 99, of Aberdeen, passed away at Mother Joseph Manor on January 2nd, 2022 after a brief illness.

Douglas Smith was born on January 10, 1922, to Roy and Winifred (O’Connor) Smith in Aberdeen. He was one of six children – three brothers: Russel, Burt, and Kingsley, and two sisters: Beverly and Patricia. His brothers are lucky to have survived their childhood with Doug because the “Smith Boys” were known to eagerly fight each other for a nickel for the amusement of the local police department, though none of the “Boys” needed monetary encouragement.

Doug attended school in Aberdeen after an inauspicious start – his blessed mother managed to drag him to his first day of kindergarten, though he arrived without most of the shirt buttons he had left home with. It seems after time it became easier and soon, he was attending school with all of his clothing intact.

After graduating from Central High School, Doug went on to attend Northern State College until he enlisted in the Army in 1940. Doug served during WWII in the Pacific Islands primarily. He was honorably discharged and would later reenlist for the Korean War, this time in the branch of the Air Force, again honorably discharged when his tour was completed. In all, he served 12 years total during wartime.

Returning to Aberdeen in his thirties, he married Maude Dixon and joined her family of two daughters, Shirley and Susan, who were as much of his blood and heart as Shawn, the biological daughter he and Maude would have in 1963. He felt so blessed to share his life with all three of his daughters and the pride was always evident in his eyes and his smile when he spoke so proudly of all of them. He and Maude divorced in 1982, but in later years remained friends.

Next in place of pride were his grandchildren, Michael Spear Jr., and Stephanie Pack, and ultimately his six great-grandchildren, and one beautiful great-great-grandson.

Doug retired from the South Dakota Department of Labor in 1981 and went on to live his best life as a vagabond, though he returned to Aberdeen permanently in 2010, and later moved in with his daughter Shawn in 2017.

Doug was known for many things. First and foremost, his sense of humor. He had a lightning wit and the Irish gift of gab and storytelling. He was a prolific artist and had always been a superior athlete. Baseball was his great love until the end of his days. His other passions were flying and golf. If he could have found a way to combine the two, he would have truly been happy.

Doug’s greatest passion was his Catholic faith. He was a devout and devoted man, loved to pray and to grow closer to the Lord every day. He would pray for hours, for everyone and everything. He wanted nothing more than for people to be saved and to know and love our Lord as he did.

Doug was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers and sisters; his oldest daughter, Shirley Rath of Aberdeen; and his beloved son-in-law: Mike Spear of Rogers, Arkansas.

Doug is survived by his two remaining daughters: Susan Spear of Rogers, AR, and Shawn Smith of Aberdeen, SD; grandson Michael (Tricia) Spear Jr of Troutman, NC, and their two sons, and Shane (Nicole) Spear of Fort Worth, TX, their son Luka, and CJ Spear of Chicago, IL; granddaughter, Stephanie (Anthony) Pack, of Pueblo, CO; four great-grandchildren:  Christopher Ogle, Eric Ogle, Jenna Ogle, and Charlie Pack.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent and will be distributed to different Catholic charities that were near to his heart.

To send flowers to Douglas' family, please visit our floral store.


Rosary and Liturgical Wake Service
January 11, 2022

7:00 PM
Schriver's Memorial Mortuary & Crematory
414 5th Ave NW
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Mass of Christian Burial
January 12, 2022

11:00 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Aberdeen)

Military Honors
January 12, 2022

12:00 PM
Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Aberdeen

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