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Donald Smith

Donald J. Smith Donald J. Smith, 91, of Topeka, died November 14, 2013. He was born on December 6, 1921, the son of J.P. and Leona (Wempe) Smith. Don served his country in the European Theatre during WW II as a member of the 8th Air Force, 486 Bomb Group 832 Squadron from 1942 - 1945. He was honorably discharged with the rank of S/SGT. He attended basic training in Hondo, Texas and completed flight training in Fairbury, Nebraska. He was assigned to the 486th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in England, stationed at Sudbury. This group operated chiefly against strategic objectives in Germany until May 1945, flying 188 missions and losing 33 aircraft. He volunteered for tail gunner position because he thought that was the best view from the plane. Like his father, Don loved working on all things mechanical and was a highly skilled automotive technician. He was employed at Buttercrust taking care of their truck fleet, then worked many years for Mosby Mac (now Noller Ford), and Westboro Mobil, retiring from Car Quest at the age of 80. He also worked in real estate development in the 1960's. Don raced stock cars following WW II and was an avid NASCAR enthusiast. He enjoyed traveling, and rode bicycles until the early part of the year. He was a member of Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, the VFW, and the Moose Lodge. He was very generous to his family, his church as well as the Capper Foundation. Don married Rita Nadine (Tomson) Glotzbach on July 16, 1949. She preceded him in death on August 28, 1987. Don is survived by his children, Sandy (Swanee) Lawrence, Marcia Malott, Nancy Smith, J.P. Smith II, Tom Smith and Penny (Tracy) Lynch, all of Topeka. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and a brother Pat Smith of Lawrence, Kansas. He was preceded in death by a grandson in 1998, a brother William Smith, and two sisters Dee Schraeder and Mary Lee Merrill. Don will lie in state at the Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home on Sunday after 2:00 p.m., where the family will receive friends from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. A Parish Rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Monday at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery with military honors provided by Philip Billard Post 1650 of the V.F.W. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, the Capper Foundation, or to the and sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66603. Online condolences and fond memories may be left at www.brennanmathenafh.com. Donald J. Smith


Funeral Home

BRENNAN MATHENA FUNERAL HOME
800 SW 6th Ave Topeka, KS 66603
(785) 354-7706

Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on Nov. 15, 2013
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