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Donald Asa Smith


1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Donald Asa Smith Obituary
Donald Asa Smith, of Manhattan Beach California was born April 24, 1925 in Franklin, Indiana to Ruth and John Smith. He passed away on the morning of April 26, 2017 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, California. He was surrounded by love of family, friends, and kind hospital staff.

Don grew up in Roswell, New Mexico and attended New Mexico Military Institute during high school. Five days after graduating from NMMI in 1943 he was inducted into the Army where he spent two years in the Infantry. After World War II, Don went on to study at the US Naval Academy. Don was one of the few Navy Officers to have earned an Army good conduct medal. Upon graduation in 1949, Don married Dorothy Armstrong, with whom he raised two sons and a daughter. Don later earned his Masters Degree from Boston University in Political Science/International Relations.

During his 24 year naval career Don was a line officer serving on surface ships, rising to the rank of Captain. His sea duty tours included service during the Korean War, the Lebanon crisis in 1958, and the Vietnam War. His last tour of duty was as the Commanding Officer of the Long Beach Naval Station. Don retired from the Navy in 1973.

Following his Navy career, he worked with Hughes Aircraft Space and Communications Group as the Director of Administration and Operations for fifteen years.

During retirement Don kept a busy pace and pursued his bike riding passion. He organized and led wonderful bike tours through North American Parks and he toured Europe, Scandinavia and China. Don also held leadership roles with SHAWL (Support for Harbor Area Women's Lives) and was President of the South Bay Orchid Society. He was very active at Hope United Methodist Church, where he participated in the Chorus, the Finance Committee and Community Service projects.

Five years after his wife Dorothy passed away in 2003, Don married Betty Person. Don and Betty shared many wonderful times enjoying family and friends, travelling, participating in church activities and choir and taking walks together.

Don is known for his steadfastness, stamina, quick wit and friendly smile, his generosity, intelligence and leadership. He is survived by his loving wife Betty, sons Donald and Douglas, daughter Carolyn, and grandchildren Daniel, Graham, Ariel and Luke as well as Betty's sons Kevin, Ken and Brent, daughter in law Suzanne and grandchildren, Amanda, Blake, Ben, Emily, Elizabeth, Brian and Juliana. He was a wonderful father to many in our extended family.

We are very grateful for his time with us, thank God for his long and healthy life, but miss him dearly. The celebration of his life will be held on May 20 at 10am at Hope United Methodist Church, 3405 Artesia Blvd, Torrance.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either:

SHAWL (Support for Harbor Area Women's Lives)
Attention: Laurie Whalen-Martinez
PO Box 948
San Pedro, Ca 90733-0948
http://www.shawlwomenshouse.org

Hope United Methodist Church
3405 Artesia Blvd
Torrance, Ca 90504
http://www.noisychildrenwelcome.com
Published in The Beach Reporter on May 11, 2017
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