David Leroy Smith Jr.
David L. Smith, Jr., LtCol USAF Ret., passed away peacefully on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Celebration of life: 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Christ Church, 5301 Altamesa Blvd., Fort Worth. Burial: David will be laid to rest in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, family will receive friends at Laurel Land Funeral Home. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, please donate to M. D. Anderson Medical Center. David was born in Tyler, in 1933, to David L. Smith Sr. and Annie Smith. He was later raised in the Lake Como community in Fort Worth. David graduated Salutatorian of I.M. Terrell High School in 1951. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., student council and Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. While at Tuskegee, David met his wife of sixty-two years, Cathryn. He was commissioned in the United States Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program in May of 1955. David started his career as a navigator and ended his 28-year career as an Electronic Warfare Officer flying on the B-52D Stratofortress bomber. He obtained a master's degree in Sociology from Grambling State University while serving as the Professor of Aerospace Science for Detachment 311. David also attended numerous other military and civilian schools including Air War College and Advanced Survivor School. He served his country in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. He participated in every major campaign that involved the Strategic Air Command including the TET offensive, Linebacker I and II. David's crew was the first bomber over Hanoi on Dec. 20, 1972, when a record number of B-52s were lost. He ultimately flew over 400 combat missions. LtCol Smith received numerous medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Combat Readiness, National Defense Service, Vietnam Service, Small Arm Expert Marksmanship, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Meritorious Service and Republic of Vietnam Campaign medals. David was a sports enthusiast and an avid handball player. In Roswell, N.M., he coached the boxing team to the State Golden Gloves championship and was an active boxing referee and judge. He was a boxing referee for the United States Olympic team and was a judge during Mike Tyson's Olympic trial bout. David was also a Dallas Cowboys devotee. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. David cherished and loved his family, friends, country and dogs. Wherever David was, there was fun and laughter. He loved dancing and listening to music. David lost his final and courageous bout but not without a valiant fight. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Carla Rhea Smith; his brother, Charles Moffett Sr.; and his parents. Survivors: David leaves to cherish his memories his wife, Cathryn; children, Mechall Patterson, Debbie Willis-Smith, David Smith III (Maria), Ann Smith and Jon Smith (Sharmaine); grandchildren, Gary, Gabrielle, Brian, Elma, Phillip, Cathryn, Vanessa, Alexis, Davina and Allyn; his great-granddaughter, Analicia; sisters, Lovie Whitaker, Roxie Thompson and Jenniene Wiliams; friends too numerous to list; and beloved pet, Boston Rhea. The family especially thanks Marionette Crosby, Melanie Myhand, Debbie Florida, Diane Solomon, Shining Star Home Health, Dr. M. Redrow, Dr. J. Staniland, Dr. V. Mehrotra, Dr. J. Marcella, Dr. T. Rajan, Staff of Harris Hospital, Harris Southwest, Kindred Hospital and Trail Lake Nursing and Rehabilitation for all the special care given to our loved one.
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