David Theron Smith

15 August, 195113 September, 2020

David Theron Smith, 69, of Southport, North Carolina, passed away suddenly on Sunday, September 13th, 2020. David was born on August 15th, 1951 in Harrisburg, PA, grew up in Ohio and New Jersey, graduated from Millburn, NJ High School, and went on to earn his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communications from Boston University and Syracuse University.

David was a sailor, sea kayaker, horseback rider, photographer, and naturalist. He was also a marathon runner, his 11th and final race being on Pikes Peak at age 50.

After a successful career in risk management, he and his wife Catherine retired to Southport, which they promptly left, setting sail for the keys on their 43 ft Hunter sloop, Carolina.

David kept a blog of reflections on his life and travels. It is still available to view at An excerpt from his writings allows him to speak for himself. He was on a walk when he died.

"I recommend that you forget all else and engage in regular walkabouts alone...reflect, appreciate, go outside, look around, look up, look down. Observe your footprints in the earth. Breath in. Get dirty. Wonder at the flight of a butterfly, and not just for you, but for your children. Teach your children and teach them well, to love the earth, to gaze at the heavens, to appreciate the smell of low tide, to feel the winds, enjoy a walk in the rain, and to create their own walkabouts outside in nature."

Survivors include his mother, Judith Smith formerly of Yarmouth Port, MA, now of Wilmington, NC, his brother and sister in law, Peter and Ilene Smith of Old Bridge, NJ, his wife Catherine Smith of Southport, NC, and his daughter, Elizabeth Catherine Smith of Southport, NC.

David was preceded in death by his sister, Deborah Kuhns of Wilmington, NC and his father, Laforest C. Smith of Yarmouth Port, MA.

David will be missed by all who loved and knew him.

In accordance with his wishes, David will be cremated and ultimately scattered at a later date by family during a private ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made at

Peacock - Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport, North Carolina.


David Theron Smith

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nancy Hahn

18 September 2020

David and I always talked boats and USCG cases. We discussed getting his Captains License,since I had mine, would it help him sail to Florida and Maine. I am a power boat person and he was a sailboat person so did we ever tease each other about that.
All in good fun. Loved his journal during the Florida journey. We talked via Facebook during the adventures. I will miss you. Thanks for the memories.

William Gregory

18 September 2020

As the long time marina manager where they kept their sailboat, David and Catherine were, and certainly will always remain, among my favorite memories not just as customers but as true friends. Always so upbeat and positive, smiling and obviously so in tune with each other! Had the pleasure of seeing David several weeks ago on his regular walk to the marina and will remember and treasure that last conversation with him. I will personally miss David very much and even more so since we were never able to squeeze in that promised afternoon sail before now. My sympathy and sincere condolences to Catherine and the family (and I certainly will understand the delay for another batch of her wonderful white academia nut and other flavor cookies that they both always brought to me and my staff.). We will always be available to help her in any way needed. Bill Gregory

Karen Loudon

17 September 2020

An old memory: He was my cousin, and my brother and I spent many happy hours with Dave and his sister Debbie during the 50s as young kids. One day my uncle took us to Waconah Falls in Hinsdale MA. We jumped off the rocks above to swim in a deep pool of icy water, then rode back to civilization on the tailgate of their old station wagon. I’ve always connected Dave with being outdoors. Although I never had the chance to sail with him, I will remember his love of the natural world and cherish his love for family. I will miss him.

Renee McGee

17 September 2020

Loved being out at the barn with Dave and You. Charlie and Kiwi would play, trail rides were fun and the camp fire we had with cooking out- delicious.

Susan Hays Melsheimer

17 September 2020

I had the very good fortune of living next door to David & Catherine in Shreveport. To this day, they were the most “in-love” couple I have ever known, and Elizabeth brought a very special love to the family. David & Catherine always did lovely and loving things for one another; for example the many delicious meals they planned and executed for special times and an opportunity to surprise the other.
Deep- down David was an incredibly passionate and very wise man. This came across loud and clear in the writings in his blog. As I read it today, I was struck by the number of times he wrote “life is short.” He knew.
He and Catherine had a life-time dream and were able to bring that “dream” to fruition last year aboard the sailboat Catherine.
Finally, I was also struck by the fact that he just recently brought all of the Smith ladies to Southport: His daughter, his mother, his sister.
Catherine, cling to the many breath-taking memories you have of your life with your incredibly special husband.
I love you and Miss Elizabeth. ❤️❤️❤️

From the Family
From the Family