June 4, 1943 – June 12, 2019
Donald “Dee” Smith, Jr. passed away on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at the age of 76. Born in New Orleans, La., on June 4, 1943, Dee is survived by his adoring wife Lori Archer-Smith, his beloved daughters Kimberly (Chad) Lemon, Brooke (Neil Gibbons) Smith, stepdaughter Zoë Archer Lundquist, and grandsons Quinn and Owen Lemon. He is also survived by his 101 year-old mother Marjorie Dittman Smith, sister Shelley (Thomas) Gaudry, sister-in-law Dolores Smith, and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws. He is predeceased by his first wife of 40 years Lirly Oser Smith, his brother George Smith, his father Donald A. Smith, Sr. and his beloved cat Voodoo. Dee was considered an advertising legend in New Orleans and the region. Before starting his own company Dee Smith Creative in 2003, Dee was VP Creative Director at the state’s top agencies including Peter Mayer Advertising in New Orleans, Root and Associates in Baton Rouge, and Bauerlein in New Orleans. He mentored many up-and-coming advertising creatives and was known for his amazing imagination, one-of-a-kind sense of humor, and deft presentation skills. Put him at the front of a room, and there was no one like him. He worked on almost every Louisiana brand there is, including Blue Runner Red Beans, Louisiana Tourism, New Orleans Tourism, Freeport McMoRan, Audubon Institute, The Times-Picayune, the Baton Rouge Advocate, the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, and Bill Watson Ford. He was happiest during production sessions where a special supply of beef jerky was always kept on hand for him at the craft services table. Along with numerous national, regional and local awards, Dee received the Silver Medal for lifetime achievement from the New Orleans Ad Club. In 1993, he was named Adweek’s Creative Director of the Year for the Southeast Region. Dee was a graduate of Loyola University where he was captain of the debate team and served on student government. Soon after graduation, he married the girl who prompted him to quit St. Joseph seminary, Lirly Oser Smith. Before her death in 2007, they had more than 40 wonderful years together filled with travel including yearly trips to the Alabama Gulf Coast. Dee’s daughters Kim and Brooke were his pride and joy – this adman’s greatest productions.
Dee had an enormous curiosity and nurtured many hobbies. He enjoyed astronomy, antique toy collecting and playing his keyboards. In recent years, he was able to devote himself to fiction writing, penning Qwerty, a Life in Lower Case, a tribute to his uncle Henry. His second book, Everywhen, the Remarkable Ascent of Harry Belkins, is about one man’s journey through the afterlife. Dee had many theories on how life in the afterlife is a wonderful adventure. While Parkinson’s Disease slowed him down in recent years, he enjoyed a quiet life at home with Lori and their constant companions Alfie, Macy Gray, and Hedy. Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend a Memorial Service on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home at 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. followed by a service at noon. The family is requesting guests come prepared to share their favorite “Dee Smith story.” Donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research are preferred, in lieu of flowers.
- Visitation Thursday, June 20, 2019
- Celebration of Life Thursday, June 20, 2019
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June 19, 2019
Thank you, Dee, for nine years of marriage and 32 years of friendship. You were the best man I’ve ever known and I was proud to be your wife. I learned so much from you about love, respect and kindness, and about living with curiosity and creativity. From someone who considered himself a major procrastinator, I don’t think you wasted a minute of your life. I will love you forever. See you in the BOT (the Great Ball of Time).
June 17, 2019
Dee was a wonderful brother who took on the daddy roll for me when our dad passed away as children. My memories of his love and kindness are too numerous to list here. But the sweet memories will live in my heart forever. He touched so many with his spirit of love.
June 15, 2019
My deepest condolences to Lori and all of Dee's family. I spent many happy years working with Dee at Peter Mayer; he was considerate and kind, incredibly creative and endlessly amusing – what more can you ask for in a boss?! I also recall how proud he was of his daughters and how much he loved having grandkids. I know you all will have good memories of Dee to tide you over. I will always remember his kindness to me. God bless.