David Elliot Smith

DAVID ELLIOT SMITH, Nov. 15, 1943-Nov. 6, 2022

On November 15, 1943, David Elliot Smith was born to Harry M. Smith and Jean H. Schumann in La Jolla, California. His parents and siblings, Steve and Karen, watched him grow up and earn his Eagle Scout award and later graduate from Carlmont High School, where he caught the eye of fellow high school band member Martha Hall. Dave was married and sealed to Martha on September 4, 1964, in the Los Angeles temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He would go on to earn his bachelor’s degree at San Jose State, a master’s degree in education at Brigham Young University, and finally his PhD at Oregon State University.  

From then on, Dave would wear many hats— teacher in Western Samoa with Martha, professor of aviation at BYU Idaho, CEO of Harry M Smith & Associates (which allowed him to travel the world many times), and CEO of Geneva Gage—but it was his church service and family that he was always the most proud of. From 2013 to 2015, he and Martha served a mission for the LDS church in Arkansas, and up until the tail end of his life he served in the Portland LDS temple once a week. He also served as a prison chaplain, dedicating his time and energy to helping those who wanted to change their lives for the better after their incarceration.  

David Elliot Smith passed away on November 6, 2022 at the age of 78 after a lengthy and well-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. He is survived by Martha, his wife of 58 years, his five children, Laura, Jennifer, Jordan, Tyler, and Robyn, and his thirteen grandchildren and three great-grandsons, to whom he was always known as “Bubba.” Dave enjoyed Red Vines, Top Gun: Maverick, the musicals Mama Mia, Cats and Chicago, Taco Tuesdays and Christmas karaoke with his family, and the music of ABBA. He will be missed, but his positive influence, legacy, and love will continue to be felt by every life he touched.