Dane Marshall Smith
October 29, 1919 – August 15, 2018
Dane Marshall Smith, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, career military officer, mason, and a great man, passed early the morning of August 15, 2018.
He was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 29, 1919. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to South Lyon, Michigan about thirty-five miles NW of Detroit. He attended Bullard School, a one room ‘country’ elementary school, and high school, in South Lyon, graduating in 1938. He then attended Alma College in Alma, Michigan, graduating in 1942.
Following his graduation with a degree in Economics, he was drafted into the US Army in July of that year. After his basic training, he attended the Office Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. During WWII he served as Transport Commander aboard ships from Bône Algeria, North Africa, and the British Isles to ports on the east coast of the United States. He also served as an instructor in the Atlantic Coast Transportation Corps Office Training School at Ft. Slocum, NY where he worked until being discharged from active duty in 1946. He was promoted to the rank of Captain before leaving active service.
He was, then, employed by the State of Michigan Corrections Commission at the State Prisons of Southern Michigan as Superintendent of the Academic and Guard Schools. From 1948 – 1951, he was employed by the public-school system of Comstock Park, Michigan where he taught high school classes and coached the track team.
In April 1951, he was recalled to active duty. During his wartime assignment to HQ 7th Division Korea, the family moved to Harrisville, Michigan to be near family. He served seventeen months in Korea before reassignment to the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (1954 – 1957). There followed moves to Southern European Task Force Livorno Italy (1957 -1959), Walter Reed Medical Center (1959 -1962), Ft. Douglas, Utah (1962 – 1964) and Ft. Shafter, Hawaii (1964 – 1967).
In 1967, the family moved to Colorado Springs where, after concluding his responsibilities at Army Air Defense Command, he retired from active duty in 1972 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In the course of his service, he was awarded: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with One Oak Leaf Cluster, the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 1st and 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 devices.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen Dodge Dehnke Smith (1971), his second wife, Mary Antista Smith (1985) and his eldest son, Brian Marshall Smith (2017). His long-time partner in life, Norma Belle Bender McClure, passed in June 2018.
He is survived by his sister, Emily Onderdonk, of Fairview, Michigan, son, Mark Gordon Smith and his life-partner, Alan Drew Williams, Jr, of Asheville, NC, and grandson, Bradshaw James Smith, of Colorado Springs. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Dana, her husband, David, and their two children, Barbara Emily Brien and Marshall Cowling Brien, of Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
He was an active member of Gateway Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs. He was a member of Masonic Centurion Lodge #195 in Monument, CO where he reached 32° degree in the York and Scottish Rites, and consistory member of the Legion of Honor with Al Kaly Shrine.
He shared his passion for living in life-stories, some of which have become mythical in our family’s history. He thrived on life, loved to travel across the world, enjoyed learning and reading up until his final days. In 1972, he began building a hand-hewn log mountain home near Creede, Colorado. He completed that home in 1985 with his own two hands, along with help from family and friends. He enjoyed summers with family at that home until 2015, after which it was no longer possible for him to travel.
Our family believe that he was one of an ever-diminishing generation of people whose moral core and values were based on truth and honesty. He was, in our eyes a great man, and the legacy he leaves behind is enormous — in family, faith, kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, sense of humor, and love of living. He is, in the wake of his passing, an exemplar that all of us should be lucky to emulate.
We will miss him more than could ever be adequately expressed.
A visitation will be held at 10:00AM followed by a funeral service at 11:00AM on Monday, August 20, 2018, Gateway Presbyterian Church, 731 Castle Road in Colorado Springs. Temporary interment will be made at the Shrine of Remembrance in Colorado Springs, with final interment to be arranged in the Pikes Peak National Cemetery, Colorado Springs.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made in Dane’s name to a charity of your choice.