“To all the girls I’ve loved before
Who traveled in and out my door
I’m glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I’ve loved before
To all the girls I once caressed
And may I say, I’ve held the best
For helping me to grow, I owe a lot, I know
To all the girls I’ve loved before.” These words of Willie Nelson’s country western song came immediately to mind as I tried to write the words to describe the passing of my Dad, Donald “Donnie” Woodrow Smith. I could have easily picked the words to “The Wanderer” by Dion Dimucci or “All My Exes Live in Texas” by George Straight. To know Don Smith was to know that he loved women, he loved motorcycles, trucks, and his blue Crown Vic, he loved having a beer and a good time. To the women that shared in our lives—my respect, honor, and love to you.
His favorite vacation spot was Ocean City, Maryland. All year he would watch the board walk via the live cameras at the Kite Loft. He loved visiting with his cousins Dee Dee, Judy, and Mary Ann and siting on the balcony watching the waves. Most of all he loved to live out loud, have fun, and enjoy new experiences.
Don was born September 25, 1947 to Ruth Mandana and Clarence Woodrow “Dick” Smith, in Philippi, WV. Don was a middle son, his older brother Richy and wife Mary live in Baltimore and his younger brother Joe passed several years before in Texas. Don is also survived by his younger half-brothers, Eddie Smith and wife Robin and Craig Smith and wife Keith Ann.
Don was a graduate of Philip Barbour High School and of Fairmont State College. He worked in various jobs over his life from coal mining, to manufacturing, to sales and delivery. He lived in many states across the country and was stationed in Germany during his time in the U.S. Army. Just as with all of us, the mountains of West Virginia always called him home.
Don was also a father to me, his daughter, Mandana “Mandy” Smith Weirich. Ours was a complicated relationship, but he loved me with all his heart. He respected my husband Ryan, and he loved dearly his grandchildren, Koragon and Ravyn Weirich. He often expressed pride in their accomplishments and offered his advice on all the things they could do in life. He knew they could be anything they set their mind to be.
It is difficult to capture a man’s life—all the love, laughter, pain, heartache, challenges, and achievements in such a short space.
In the end, I hope my dad felt my love, the love of a daughter, as he left this world to go to the next. So many times, he would open his eyes, close them, and smile and for that I am very grateful. I know he wanted to go out raising hell, but dementia and pneumonia had other plans for him. So, I made sure he had dignity and love when he left this world on February 17, 2020.
Finally to all that knew and loved him, raise a glass, play some rock and roll, and raise a little hell in his honor.
Friends will be received at the Jerusalem United Methodist Church 212 Briar Patch Rd. Philippi on Saturday February 22, from 1-3 pm. Funeral services will be conducted at 3 pm with Rev. Dr. Peter Vial officiating. Interment will follow in the Jerusalem Cemetery with military honors being accorded.