David J. A. Smith, 89, of Litchfield, died peacefully on January 2, 2015, surrounded by his three sons. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Diana, to whom he had been married to for 55 years. Mr. Smith was born in Shropshire, England in 1925 and raised on the Earl of Bradford's estate, where his father was Head Gardener. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1943, completed his pilot's training here in the U.S., and proudly served till the end of WWII. After the war, Mr. Smith pursued a career in horticulture. In 1954, he and his wife, Diana, came to the U.S. as newlyweds by invitation of the owners of White Flower Farm. Hired as a plant propagator, he quickly rose to Director of Horticulture by 1968. He officially retired in 1990, but continued to give lectures and tour of gardens, the passion of his life, until his death. Mr. Smith was also very active in the community. He served 7 years as president of the Tri-Town Little League. He was a member of the Connecticut Horticultural Society, the Litchfield Lions Club, and active member of St. Michael's Church in Litchfield. He is survived by his three sons; Roland Smith of Harwinton, Robert and his wife Karen of Torrington, Michael and his wife Susan of Litchfield and five grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the David J. A. Smith Scholarship Fund C/O Connecticut Horticultural Society, 2433 Main Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067-2569. Calling hours will be held Friday, January 9, 2015 from 4-7pm at Rowe Funeral Home, 283 Torrington Road, Litchfield. A memorial service will be Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 1:00pm at St. Michael's Church, 25 South Street, Litchfield. Kindly visit www.rowefuneralhome.net to send the family an online condolence.
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Published in Hartford Courant on Jan. 4, 2015.