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David Charles Smith

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David Charles Smith Obituary
David Charles Smith, 68, spent more than forty years playing music in Blues and rock clubs in Chicago while supporting himself and his family doing contracting work and carpentry. He died in his sleep on Thursday, September 27, 2018, surrounded by family at St. Joseph's Hospital following open heart surgery. Born in Philadelphia, Dave Smith spent part of his childhood in Girard College, an orphanage for boys, but eventually made his way to Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida, where he captained the undefeated 1969 varsity soccer team and graduated with a BA in Fine Art. After graduation, he worked a variety of jobs before becoming a contractor: on riverboats on the Illinois River, as a first-grade teacher in an elementary school, and as a door-to-door salesman. He played bass and guitar with several notable Chicago bands, including the Joe Kelly Band, the Virginia Klemens Band, Scorched Earth Policy, Big Sweaty Men, The Bread and Butter Band, Rockin' Billy and the Wild Coyotes, and Ice Bombe. His thick, smoky bass lines and laid-back style of lead guitar drew on Chicago's rich Blues genre and his easy, friendly manner made him a much-in-demand player. His oldest child, Lena Rush, captured the many sides of her father on Facebook: "My Dad. The blues man, the Chicago icon, the carpenter, the fine craftsman, the father to literally anyone who needed a Dad, the patron to every bakery, the art curator, the love, the kindness, the mentor, the joker, the chocolate lover, my big cookie, the love of my life, the sweetest friend to every single person in this city/entire world." In addition to his daughter Lena, Dave is survived by his wife Wendy Love and his four other children: David Colin Smith of New York, NY, Andrew Smith of Chicago, Brianna Love of Chicago, and Isadora Smith-Ritchie of Chicago, as well as two brothers, Patrick Charlton of Newport Beach, CA and Martin O'Hara of Phoenix, AZ. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, October 13 at 3:30 p.m. at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 2335 North Orchard Street, Chicago. Following the service, at 6 p.m., friends and family will gather for a celebration of Dave Smith's life at Nick's Beer Garden, 1516 North Milwaukee, Chicago, where Dave Smith performed regularly over the last 20 years. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to the or the Musicians Foundation, which supports musicians facing financial difficulties due to illness.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Oct. 1, 2018
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