Donald Ray “Duke” Smith

April 1, 1930-March 26, 2019

Donald Ray “Duke” Smith was born April 1, 1930, in Lamar, to Elza D. Smith and Gladys (Butler) and died March 26, 2019.

Duke married Kathryn Louise Greiner on Oct. 23, 1946, and she preceded him in death.

Survivors include their daughters Donna Kay (Michael) Kelly and Diann Rae (Robert) Collier; grandchildren J. Patrick (Lesley) Kelly, Shaun B. (Sharon) Kelly, Shannon C. (Brian) Cooley, David D. (Paula) Benson, John W. (Gena) Benson, and 13 great-grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, Duke was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Carol Louise Smith, brothers Floyd Parley Smith, Robert Elza Smith and sister Martha Louise Squires.

Duke graduated from Lamar Missouri High School in 1947 and entered the U.S. Army where he was later honorably discharged in the Army's consolidation following the end of World War II. He then enrolled in Southwest Baptist College, where he earned an Associates of Education in 1949. He taught elementary school in Wishart, while taking classes at Southwest Missouri State University. He taught in the Consolidated District Schools for Morrisville, where he served as principal in 1952 until joining the Boy Scouts of America.

Duke was proudly employed by the Boy Scouts in Joplin, Mason City, Iowa, St. Louis and Kansas City. He rose through the ranks serving as Field Executive, District Executive, Field Director and ultimately became Scout Executive (CEO) for the Overland Trails Council in Grand Island, Nebraska for three years and the Prairie Gold Area Council in Sioux City, IA for 13 years. Duke retired from professional scouting after 33 years serving the youth of our country. He shortly decided to “un-retire” by becoming the Executive Director of the Junior Achievement of Siouxland in Sioux City, Iowa. He served with great joy and success for five years before retiring again.

Duke then moved to Bryan, Ohio, where he served in the Senior Nutrition Program of the Ohio Area Department of Aging.

In 1995 he moved to Stockton, where he volunteered at the Stockton Senior Center and served nine years (four as chairman) on the Missouri District 3 Area Agency on Aging (also known as Care Connection for Aging Services). He also served as an alderman on the Stockton City Council for two terms.

Duke was a Rotarian for 43 years and served as the vice president of the Stockton Optimist Club and lieutenant governor of the Western District of Missouri Optimist International.

In 2018 he relocated to Overland Park, Kansas to be near family.

Private services will be held at a later date. (14c)