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Donald Smitherman


1914 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Donald Smitherman Obituary
Donald W. Smitherman passed away on August 24, 2016 at his home in Denver, CO. He was 102 years old. Donald was born on April 13, 1914 in Kiowa County, CO to Arthur and Blanche (Davis) Smitherman in a two room homestead. His family moved to Kansas when he was young and he grew up in the Quaker Church and attended a Quaker Academy in Haviland, Kansas throughout elementary and high school. He had a beautiful singing voice and sang in a quartet throughout high school. After graduating from high school in 1932 Donald attended college in Pasadena, CA and Fort Hayes State College in Kansas where he met his future wife Ruth Wait whom he married in 1937. Donald graduated and began teaching in Kansas before he was drafted in the Army. He served for 36 months in the Army Air Corps until he was honorably discharged at the conclusion of WWII. After the war he worked at the Veterans Administration while he obtained a Master's degree at Wichita University. He then received his PhD and became a clinical psychologist in Kansas. In the early 1960's Donald and Ruth bought a vacation home in Colorado called the Elk Park Ranch. Later Donald became an associate professor at the University of Northern Colorado in special education and he and Ruth became full time Colorado residents. After several endeavors in education Donald retired in 1976. Don and Ruth enjoyed square dancing and they moved to Texas where they lived for 11 years, splitting their time between Colorado and Texas. Ruth preceded Donald in death in 2004 after 67 years of marriage. As this chapter in Don's life closed, another opened when he met Marlene Messer at a Senior Center dance in Longmont, Colorado. Marlene had lost her husband after 50 years of marriage; they were instant partners forever until Donald's death. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Walter and Ronald Smitherman; sisters, Velma June and Louise; and wife, Ruth Smitherman. Donald is survived by his daughter, Donna Ellis of Denver, CO; son, Stephen (Bonnie) Smitherman of Berthoud, CO; and 5 grandchildren, Ryan Ellis, Cary Ellis, Sherry Schaefers, Stan Smitherman and Katelyn Elkins. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday October 8, 2016 at Westview Presbyterian Church in Longmont, Colorado. Cremation entrusted to Ahlberg Funeral Chapel and Crematory. Memorial contributions can be made to the National . Visit www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com to share condolences.
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on Oct. 5, 2016
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