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Denny Smithson

Denny Smithson Obituary
Denny Smithson

December 20, 1942 - November 1, 2014

Denny was a talk show host and reporter at KPFA radio for 47 years and a long-time employee of Cody's Books in Berkeley, CA. A radio natural, he had a great voice, and he sounded on air just like he was in person – warm, open and empathetic, insightful and witty. He interviewed authors for many years and enjoyed every moment. He was entranced with the words, but even more in talking with writers about their work.
He loved his dogs with his whole heart, and they adored him as well. Jezebel, the fluff pup, Otter aka Mr. Buttupsky, and the beautiful crazy Tillie, all three would have been inconsolable if he had gone on without them.
He leaves his wife and 30-year companion Lara Wagner, who has lost at least half her heart, Gabriel Smithson, his son with the late public television and radio reporter Carolyn Craven, his brother Harry and sister-in-law Susie Smithson of Columbia, South Carolina, and other beloved family in South Carolina and Mississippi.
His remains will be scattered along the Nimitz Way Trail in Tilden Park, where he walked with his dogs for many years, and made friends with two ravens, Cash and Carrie. An "open-mike" memorial gathering will be held on December 13 from 1:00 - 3:00 at the Temescal Beach House, for all who wish to come and share stories about their moments with Denny.
To the excellent Kaiser Oakland hospice staff, in particular Patty and Claire, and to Denny's steady caregivers, especially Mel and Richard, thank you with all our hearts.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9, 2014
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