Capt. Douglas M. Smith, 86, died Wednesday, June 22, 2011 in Amarillo.
Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Panhandle, where Mr. Smith was a Deacon Emeritus. Rev. Bill Austin will officiate. Arrangements are under the direction of Minton/Chatwell Funeral Directors of Panhandle.
Douglas was born July 15, 1924, to Blanch Ems Smith and Dwight Moody Smith on the Ems farm outside of Lubbock.
When he was four, the family moved to Amarillo where he graduated from Amarillo High School in 1941. After attending Amarillo College one year, Douglas enlisted as a Naval Aviation Cadet on his 18th birthday in 1942. Graduating from Corpus Christi Naval Air Station on May 26, 1943, choosing to fly dive bombers, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marines the same day.
He flew the SBD Daunteless and F4U Corsair converted to dive bombers in the Central Pacific. In 1994, the Navy reviewed his records and recommendations for medals, and he was credited with 142 missions against the Japanese and awarded 7 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 21 Air Medals.
In 1945, he was released from active duty where he had trained in the SB2C Helldivers at Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Douglas was a partner with his father in the International harvester business in Panhandle, Smith and Son. When the business sold in 1949, he used his earnings to buy farm equipment and farmed until retiring in 1997.
On August 17, 1946, Douglas and Mary Ruth Evans were married. Their union produced two sons, William Dwight and David Evans. The couple was married almost 54 years when she passed away on June 30, 2000. Also, preceding Douglas in death was a step-daughter, Mary Willis Scott.
84th District Judge Bill Smith married his father and Patricia Robinson Bacon on July 31, 2001.
Survivors are his wife, Patricia; sons and their wives, Bill and Kaye Smith of Borger and David and Carolyn Smith of Pinnacle, N.C.; a granddaughter and husband Liz and Kyle Moore of Canyon, grandson and wife, Sam and Ashley Smith of Plano and a great-granddaughter, Libby Moore and a great-grandson, Gideon Moore both of Canyon. He also has two sisters and spouses, Laurel and Nick Miller and Carol Ann and Rex Mulkey all of Amarillo.
There is a step-son, Lowell Land of Amarillo; step-daughter, Anne Henderson and husband Maurice of Holly Springs, NC; two step-granddaughters, Jennifer Pierce and husband Monte of Wimberly; Lance Corporal Alexandria Boston Barks of Afghanistan and husband Lance Corporal Jonathan Barks of Cherry Point, NC; two step-grandson, Walt Willis of Amarillo and Iain Boston of Holly Springs, NC; two step-great-grandson, Holt and Hays Pierce of Wimberly Point, North Carolina.
Three sisters-in-law live in Panhandle, Dorothy Broadaway, Billie Ray Williams and Leta Dowlen and husband Hayden.
Following a full military burial by the Marine Reserves Unit, Douglas will be buried beside Mary Ruth in the Panhandle Cemetery.
Memorials are requested to be sent to the First Baptist Church, Box 189, Panhandle, TX 79068, or to the Capt. Douglas M. Smith Memorial, Marine Corps Aviation Association, PO Box 296, 715 Broadway St., Quantico, VA 22134.
To send condolences, sign the online guestbook at www.mintonchatwell.com.