Douglas O Smith Jr.

February 2, 1935November 27, 2017

Douglas O. Smith, Jr., of Fort Smith, died Monday, November 27, 2017 at Sparks Regional Medical Center, under its Hospice care. Doug was born February 2, 1935 in Birmingham, Alabama to Douglas O. Smith, Sr. and Ople Beeler Smith. He was reared in Fort Smith, where he attended Fort Smith Public Schools, graduating from Fort Smith High School in 1952. He earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors in 1956 at the University of Arkansas. While at the University, he was a member and president of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. Doug obtained his law degree from Yale Law School in 1959, and after passing the Arkansas Bar examination that year, entered into active practice at Warner, Warner and Ragon. Doug practiced law in Fort Smith for the ensuing 51 years until his retirement from active practice. He continued to use his considerable ability as a member of the Board of Directors of Hanna Oil and Gas Company.

Doug Smith was a gifted and accomplished lawyer, a mentor to his colleagues of the Bar, both within and without his firm, a scholar of the law, and a worthy advocate. He represented his clients with ability, and always had a practical approach to solving the many problems he encountered on their behalf. Highly respected, he was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, membership in which is limited to no more than 1% of lawyers in any given state.

Doug had a unique combination of extraordinary intelligence, a sense of fairness, and an ability to communicate. He recognized the value of compromise, and was always able when necessary to disagree without being disagreeable. He was a trusted advisor and confidant to his many friends. His many partners at Warner, Smith & Harris valued his leadership of the firm through their legal careers.

Doug Smith devoted significant time and attention to improvement of the law and the administration of justice. Along with his close friend, Brad Jesson, Doug served as legislative liaison for then Governor Dale Bumpers. He was a member of the American, Arkansas and Sebastian County Bar Associations, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and served by appointment of the Arkansas Supreme Court on the Arkansas Code Revision Commission. He served our country as a member of the Arkansas Air National Guard from 1959-1965, and was activated by the United States Air Force in 1961-1962. He generously gave his time and talent to many local organizations, with service as a member and president of the Fort Smith School Board; the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, Foundation; and the boards of Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce, Girls Club, Harbor House, Bost School, Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center, and the Arkansas Health Planning Commission. Doug also served for years as a member of the board of directors of Sparks Hospital. At the United States Court of Appeals 8th Circuit Judicial Conference in May 2016, Doug Smith was honored with the Richard S. Arnold Award for distinguished service and lifetime achievement.

Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his parents and by a son, Douglas O. Smith, III. He is survived by his beloved wife, Connie; a daughter, Sara Smith Fant of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; three granddaughters, Adair, Hutton and Emily Fant; a sister and brother-in-law, Beth and Jim Turtle of Manhattan, Kansas; and a brother-in-law, Robb Christopher of Moab, Utah. He was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church of Fort Smith, where he served as a member of the Vestry and senior warden, lay reader, usher and chancellor.

Memorial service will be Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 11:00 AM with inurnment in the St. John’s Columbarium following the memorial.

The family will greet friends in the Parish Hall of St. John’s following the inurnment.

Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, Foundation, P.O. Box 3649 Fort Smith, AR 72913 or St. John’s Episcopal Church, 214 North 6th Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901.

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  • Memorial Service Thursday, November 30, 2017
  • Visitation Thursday, November 30, 2017

Douglas O Smith Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Janet Langdon

December 8, 2017

May God Bless your family . Doug was a good friend and a gentleman . He will be greatly missed.

December 2, 2017

Doug and my late husband, Tom Cooley were good friends-breakfast buddies at Calico County and "Goofy Golfers" at Hardscrabble Country Club. After Tom died in 2009 Doug called me every 3-4 weeks to check on me. My three children called him " Uncle Doug." He will be missed. Sue Cooley

Orville Clift

December 2, 2017

Doug Smith was one of my mentors when I began the practice in Fort Smith. Always candid and knowledgeable, he was a great help to me in my endeavors. Always fond thoughts and prayers for his family.

December 1, 2017

Dear Family, Please accept my condolences in the passing of Doug. I knew Doug through our activities in the Noon Civics Club. He always spoke and had a kind word. He was a real gentleman. You will cherish the memories of your time together. God bless you.
Fred Stecher

John Greer

November 30, 2017

Class act in school. Class act in his profession. Class act as a long-time friend. Doug will be missed by a lot of people. May our Heavenly Father's peace rest on the family in this loss.

Steve Sharum

November 30, 2017

Connie & Sara: Doug always let you know where you stood with two phrases he frequently used during conversations with him. He would say "hell of a deal" if the issue was agreeable to him OR "what ever's fair" meaning the issue was not so agreeable and counter proposal would be coming. You always knew where you stood with him. The funeral service was excellent and spiritual.
Peace of Christ each of you & to the family.

Steve Sharum

November 30, 2017

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Neal Kirkpatrick

November 29, 2017

One of the best men I have ever been privileged to know.

Joel Johnson

November 29, 2017

Great lawyer, mentor and friend to many that will be missed. God Bless.

Carolyn Terry

November 29, 2017

Connie, just want you to know that I would be at the service in my beloved St. John's if it were possible. I know it will be magnificent. I was thinking about a very special time: You and Doug and Gail and Buzz gave a beautiful dinner party for Todd and Stacy when they married. That was a long time ago! And such a happy time. Know I will be thinking of you at 11:00 tomorrow. Carolyn