Cover photo for Donald Lavelle Smith Sr.'s Obituary
Donald Lavelle Smith Sr. Profile Photo
1936 Donald 2022

Donald Lavelle Smith Sr.

November 21, 1936 — April 7, 2022

Sun City Center, Florida

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Donald L Smith Sr. affectionately known as Don, peacefully went home to be with the Lord on April 7, 2022, at 2:47pm at LifePath Hospice House surrounded by his wife of 61 years, his 6 children, and 2 of his grandchildren. He was born on November 21, 1936, in Indianapolis, Indiana to Dora Sebre-Smith and George Smith, and GOD fathered by Lemuel Gholston, who were both good men.

On July 23, 1960, he was united in holy matrimony to his soulmate Wanda M. Harris. He was blessed with six children from this union. Don was a mentor and father figure to many by leaving words of wisdom, support, and encouragement.

He confessed his faith in God (Yahweh) with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of 12 at Metropolitan Baptist Church, Indianapolis, IN and instilled those beliefs in his family and children. Don was a member of Shield of Faith for over 20 years and served as a Deacon. Don and his wife, relocated to Florida where they were under Watch Care at 1st Baptist Church of Progress Village.

Don was raised in Indianapolis, IN and graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in 1955. He enlisted into the Unites States Air Force (USAF) July 29, 1955 and served in the Vietnam War with his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) being Aircraft Electrician. He worked on B-52 series, B-58, KC-135 series, C-130 series, and other aircraft ground equipment. On December 1, 1976, Don retired from the USAF, and received an Honorable Discharge after 21 years of service with the rank of Technical Sergeant. After retirement Don was employed and retired from both Amtrak Railroad Passenger Services and Rapid Transit District Public Bus System where he was a supervisor.

Don was a purpose driven man. He received his Associate Degree from Ivy Tech State College. He was a self-employed entrepreneur under D.L. Smith Electrical Contracting Services in the state of IN & CA. He had two inventions patented, was an artist, played the saxophone and learned to play the keyboard by himself later in life. He was a lifetime member of the NAACP. He received numerous awards and certificates including: From Bright Minds Come Bright Ideas Award, Employee Suggestion Awards, Managing Excellence Award, and Perfect Attendance Award.

He was a hard worker who loved to “tinker” and was always working on “projects.” He was known to say “I can make it myself (and would)” instead of paying someone else. Don was an early riser and can be heard passionately saying “Rise and shine. Get off your butt and on your feet, get out of the shade, and in the heat! Move, move, move.” And when a day’s work was done and you earned your pay, Don would caringly ask “do you want me to be your bank.”

Don was a man of integrity and will be forever remembered as a loving and devoted husband, father, uncle, cousin, friend, and God-fearing man.

Donald L. Smith Sr., leaves to honor and cherish his fond memories his wife Wanda M. Smith; and six children Angela L. Smith, Donald L. (Kerrie) Smith Jr., Anita L. (Earl Sr.) Wigfall, Donnell L. (Levette) Smith Sr., Derek L. Smith, Sr. David L. (Gabriel Padilha) Smith Sr.; 25 grandchildren David Bugg II, Rev. Candace Buggs, Constance Buggs, Daniel Gooley, Christina Broadnax, Clarissa Broadnax, Essenia Broadnax, LaDonna (Demetrius) Hayes, Donald Smith III, Angel Smith, Donavan Smith, Dominic Smith, Earl (Alexandria) Wigfall II, Exavier (Haley) Wigfall, Elliott Wigfall, LaShaunda (George) Starks, Donnell Smith II, Blake Smith, Derek Smith Jr., Ayana Smith, Kayla Smith, David Smith II, Jeremiah Smith, Elijah Smith, and Serenity Smith; 16 great grandchildren David Buggs III, Trinity Buggs, Jarveon Briones, Jordann Buggs, Justice Buggs, Darius Hayes, Charles Brown Jr., Zaidyn Vineiguerra, Jorden Wigfall, Brooke’ Lynn Wigfall, Kyla Wigfall, Leia Starks, George Starks IV, Logan Starks, Darrien Smith, and Julien Smith; one Cousin Delores Duff, three nieces Rev. Dora Samuels-Merritt, Blanche Clark, and Janice Bruen; two nephews Deacon Wiley H. Samuels Jr., and Rev. Sylvester T. Samuels, along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and saints to celebrate his life.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Lavelle Smith Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 21, 2022

9:00 - 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, April 21, 2022

10:00 - 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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