Donald L Smith

July 26, 1927December 23, 2020
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Donald Leroy Smith, age 93, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family in Gering, NE on December 23, 2020 when he was called home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Don was born in Scottsbluff, NE on July 26, 1927. He was the middle of three children of Claude and Ruth (Hites) Smith.

As a child, Don’s family moved to Phoenix, AZ where he attended school. His family relocated back to the North Platte Valley when he was 15 years old. He worked on the family farmstead near Minatare NE as well as working on several other farms in the area.

Don met his wife Wilma Irene Van Winkle in Minatare. After a very short courtship of only 3 months they were married on September 23, 1947 and their amazing marriage of 73 years has been a shining example for everyone around them. Don and Irene had four children: Max, Douglas, Michael, and Donna.

Early in their marriage, Don attended South Dakota Bible College in Arlington, South Dakota for 2 years. After that, they moved to Gering, NE and Don worked for Great Western Sugar Factory for over 40 years.

Don and Irene were very active in the Church of Christ and were committed to their calling to love everyone like Jesus. Throughout their marriage they often opened their home to people such as ministers, friends, and other relatives who stayed with them and countless guests who dined at their table.

Don is survived by his devoted and loving wife Irene, his children, Max (Vicki) Smith of Gering, NE, Douglas (Janice) Smith of Arvada, CO, Michael (Friend Deb Pebley) Smith of Scottsbluff, NE, Donna (Lance) Cline of Gering, NE, 12 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren and his sister Barb (Arlie) Dalke of Arizona.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Ruth Smith, and his brother Delbert Smith.

His funeral service will held at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at Central Church of Christ in Gering with Pastor Herb Rainey and Pastor Steve Johnston officiating. It will be livestreamed on the Gering Memorial Chapel facebook page. Interment will follow at the West Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 PM on Monday, December 28, 2020 at Gering Memorial Chapel. Memorials may be given to Bluffview Church of Christ or Regional West Hospice. Online condolences and memories may be left on Don’s profile at


  • Granddaughters, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Great Grandchildren, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Great-Great-Grandchildren, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Corey Smith, Casket Bearer
  • Brian Smith, Casket Bearer
  • Shane Cline, Casket Bearer
  • TJ Cline, Casket Bearer
  • Dustan Kenner, Casket Bearer
  • Charles Bump, Casket Bearer

  • Bluffview Church of Christ
  • Regional West Hospice


  • Visitation

    Monday, December 28, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020



Donald L Smith

have a memory or condolence to add?

Misti Ybarra

December 29, 2020

Sorry for your loss.. Keep the memories close to your heart. We will be here for you.. and praying for the lord to ease the passing of your Dad every day.

Sam Engleman

December 29, 2020

I am sorry to hear of your loss. It is not easy losing someone at this time especially a parent. Remember the good times, in fact all the times for those memories will help heal the hole in your heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Steven Johnston

December 29, 2020

Don was such an example to me over the years. His faithfulness, steadfastness, and dependability has always been an inspiration to me. I'm so fortunate to have known him and have been in the church with him over the years. He will be greatly missed by Verona and me.

Barney and Sue Smith

December 28, 2020

We are sorry about Don's passing. But we know he is with our Lord and Savior. Our prayers are with you all. We may be miles apart, but all of you have always been in our hearts.
All our love, Barney and Sue

Kathy Merkel-Sauer

December 28, 2020

We were blessed to have Don and Irene as neighbors for many years. Don always would snow blow the block every year. They truly lived a life as Christ desires us all to live. Irene I know this is going to be hard on you. I will keep you in my prayers. Don is with Jesus and we will see him again. It was an honor to know and live next to you both. Love Kathy

Jana Gehl

December 27, 2020

I have many fond memories of growing up with Don & Irene as neighbors. Every winter without fail Don would always snow blow the side walk of the entire block to make sure people would not have to worry about falling. Then as a teenager Don & Irene would always drive me to Bluffview a couple of times a week and during those rides we had the best conversations. Don & Irene would attend my birthday parties & they even helped my sister & I surprise my mom for her 40th birthday. Shortly after I gave birth to my son Don stopped by to check on me and as an exhausted new mom he reassured me that I was doing a good job. Don truly showed the love of Christ and it was such a blessing growing up with Don & Irene as neighbors. Sending prayers and love to Irene and the rest of the Smith family.

Diane Trudeau

December 27, 2020

I had the pleasure of meeting Don after I first made friends with his daughter Donna and her boys, Shane and TJ., back in 1991. They were my neighbors in Aurora, Colorado and my son David and Shane became the best of friends. They moved to Gering, NE to be closer to her mom and dad. David and I made 2 visits during the next couple of years via a roadtrip so David and Shane could see one another and during those visits I was able to really get to know Donna's mom and dad. Both her mom and dad were so sweet and gracious, and inviting me and David to stay with them and not knowing who we were. Shane and TJ absolutely adored their grandma and grandpa and it was very clear grandma and grandpa adored their grandsons. To all of the family, and from myself and David, we are so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in all of your wonderful memories, comfort from one another, and comfort knowing his beautiful soul now rests with our dear Savior. Prayers for all of the family.

Patricia Deys

December 26, 2020

What a Godly man he was! I grew up going to the same Church as Don and his wonderful wife, Irene. As a young person they took an interest in me and showed their love in so many ways. I will NEVER forget the impact they had in encouraging me to stay faithful all the days of my life. He will be missed,. Because of his faithfulness, he is now with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Praise God.

In loving care,
Pat Deys