Donald Joseph Smith, Sr.August 2, 1932 ~ September 18, 2017 (age 85)
Donald Joseph Smith Sr. age 85 of Walker MN went home. Dad, also known by his Indian name “Muckwa”, Grandpa”, “Papa”. Uncle “Duck” to his many nieces and nephews and “Duck” to his many relatives and friends. He was also known as "Donald Duck" “Rubber Ducky”! Dad was born on August 2, 1932 to our grandparents, Joe and Mary Smith in Onigum MN and this is where he grew up with his brothers and sisters.
Dad went on to serve in the Army in the Military Police Unit while stationed in Korea. Dad was honorably discharged in 1956. Dad returned to civilian life and met Mary Lou Roberts and were married. They raised their 7 children, Maureen, Donald Jr. “Bud”, Ramona, Mary, Samuel, Anne and Paul, first in Bemidji MN, Ontario CA, and finally in Minneapolis MN. Dad worked as a laborer most of his life.
Dad took great pleasure in his growing number of grandchildren and later his great grandchildren, who knew him as Grandpa and “Papa”. He loved and cherished the growing number over the years.
When dad was younger, he hunted, fished and went ricing and enjoyed the outdoors while growing up with his siblings and his many cousins. Dad’s later interests were his children/grandchildren. He was great at fixing things from cars to other things; many have learned a lot from dad, as he educated us on how to do things. Always a sports watcher, he loved watching the “Twins” (when they were winning) and other games on TV. His great interest was “Wrestling” or “Rassling” as he put it, never missing a match or a pay per view, he was a great fan!!! He never missed his nature shows either, he loved watching the animals.
Dad was a very religious man and made sure his kids were educated about the church and its meanings. He took the teachings and his faith seriously and would pray every day for our mom and his family. He took great comfort in his faith and it guided him during his life.
Sadly, Dad left us on September 18, 2017 after a long illness. He will join our mother Mary Lou, his son Donald “Bud”, his parents Joseph and Mary, brothers and sisters, Snuffy, Abbott, Shirley, Joanne and Mary Jo, and also many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Dad leaves behind his children, Maureen (Robert) Headbird, Ramona (Gary) Fife, Mary R. (Chuck) Smith, Samuel (Terri) Smith, Anne Smith (Ernest) and Paul Smith, daughter in law Laura Gould Smith, his 16 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren, his sister Dorothy (Gaylord) Walswick and brother Walter Smith, brothers and sisters in law, Larry Roberts, Dennis Campbell, Ruth Driggers, and Evangeline (Mike) Beaulieu, adopted grandson; D’Mario Jackson, many nieces, nephews and cousins..
We would like to thank the people who helped dad in his final days, Sanford Medical Center, Neilson Place in Bemidji MN, the Medical staff at Indian Health Services in Cass Lake, MN. Our cousin, Frank Reese of Leech Lake Veterans Service and the Leech Lake Honor Guard who will honor our father for his service with the US Army. We would also like to thank Jenelle and Jarrod Mankie of the Northern Peace Funeral Home and Father Tim Lange of St. Agnes Church for assistance with planning dad’s Celebration of Life.
A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:00 a.m., Friday, September 22, 2017 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Walker, MN. Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Thursday, September 21, 2017, at Northern Peace Funeral Home, 114 Tianna Drive, Walker, MN, and a one hour visitation prior to Mass at the church. Father Timothy Lange will officiate. Pallbearers for Donald will be Ernest F. Briggs III, Robert Headbird, Jr., Daniel A. Briggs, Brandon H. Smith, Michael A. Briggs and Samuel J. Smith. Alternate pallbearers are Anthony Headbird and D’Mario Jackson. His honorary pallbearers are all of Donald’s family and friends. A private family inurnment of his ashes will be in Old Agency Catholic Cemetery at Old Agency at a later date.
Donald’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com