Wilbur-Romano Funeral Home

615 Main Street, Warren, RI


Capt. Esmond Douglas Smith, Jr. US Navy ret.

October 30, 1940October 12, 2019

Captain Esmond D. “Doug” Smith, Jr., US Navy retired, has set sail on his final voyage after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his beloved wife and best friend, Nanci, son, Timothy Smith of Norfolk, Virginia, daughter, Stephanie Smith of Virginia Beach, Virginia, stepdaughters, Jennifer Nelson of Portsmouth, RI and Jessica Nelson Driscoll of Bristol, RI, his brother, Ron Smith of Stratford, CT, three grandsons, Brendan Doyle of Stratham, New Hampshire, Orion Driscoll of Bristol, RI and Barry Smith of Norfolk, Virginia and Kona, his Therapy Dog.

Captain Smith graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1963, joined the Navy and was commissioned an Ensign at Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI in 1964. After tours on two Ocean Minesweepers, which included several Market Time Patrols off the coast of Vietnam, he was transferred to the headquarters of CINCUSNAVEUR in London where he became a Naval Intelligence officer. Subsequent tours of duty included Assistant Naval Attaché in Taiwan, and Executive Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence in Washington. He attended the senior class of the Naval Intelligence in Washington. He attended the senior class of the Naval War College in Newport in 1982 and spent the next two years in the College’s War Gaming Center, before being selected for command of the Fleet Ocean Surveillance Information Facility (FOSIF), Western Pacific, in Kamiseya, Japan. He finished his Navy career as the Edward Layton intelligence chair at the Navy War College in Newport, RI.

Following his Navy retirement in 1993, he received a PhD in Humanities from Salve Regina University and began teaching in the MBA program at Johnson & Wales University Graduate School in Providence, becoming the Director of the International Business Program before his retirement from the school in 2006.

Since then, he has been active in his local community of Portsmouth, RI, chairing the Steering Committee for Portsmouth’s 375th anniversary of Portsmouth’s Founding in 1638 and hosting over 200 weekly public access TV programs entitled “Portsmouth This Week”, as well as being active in the Portsmouth Historical Society as Vice President and on the Board of Directors.

Arrangements are in the care of the Wilbur-Romano Funeral Home, Warren, RI. For information and condolences, www.wilbur-romano.com


  • Set sail on his final voyage Saturday, October 12, 2019


Capt. Esmond Douglas Smith, Jr. US Navy ret.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Donnelly

November 4, 2019

So sorry to hear of Doug's passing. I knew him at the Naval War College and then reconnected at Sakonnet Bay Manor where his father Smitty and my mother Helen played cards and had a drink at the bar every day. I saw him quite often as well as Nanci. I'll always remember the Sakonnet Bay Christmas parties with my mother, Smitty, Doug, Nanci and my husband Jim as well as the party he had for Smitty at the VFW. He was such a nice person whether at NWC or Sakonnet Bay.

John F Davis

October 20, 2019

Doug was major player in supporting the town, and educating the people of Portsmouth regarding their heritage. We are proud to say
we knew him, and know his wife Nanci, as well as his daughter Jenn. It is with sadness that we see another person depart this earth so young. He gave to the country, and to a wide community.
May our higher power be with the entire family in their time of loss and sorrow. You are in our prayers, John and Pat Davis

Ray Davis

October 17, 2019

Nanci and Family:
I want to express my deepest sympathies to you all at the passing of Doug. I want you all to know how much I respected him and liked him. He was a straight forward guy who went right to the point of an issue and he cared deeply about Portsmouth, this country and what was right.
His respect for the history of this town and the current status were honorable just as his service to this country was.
He was really helpful to me and I considered him a friend. He was a stand up guy in my book.
With sincere respect,
Ray Davis

Linda Ujifusa

October 16, 2019

We had breakfast with Doug soon after we were elected to Town Council and he shared great advice and insights about working for our community that were incredibly helpful and we'll always remember. He was smart, super-hard working, fun, and inspiring. We and so many others were privileged to know him and will miss him very much. We send our condolences and prayers to his family. Linda Ujifusa & J. Mark Ryan

Don Davidson

October 16, 2019

Captain Smith,
My you rest in peace. Thank you for your service to our country in the USN.
It was a pleasure working with you in Portsmouth.
Don Davidson
USN Veteran

Andrew Terwilleger

October 16, 2019

Doug was known as "Smitty" when we were at Stratford High School. Our Class of '58 appreciated his friendship and athletic abilities. Now we honor his patriotism and accomplishments, extend sympathy to his family and wish him Safe Harbor on the far side of Jordan.

Wayne Leghorn

October 16, 2019

To Nanci and all of Doug’s loved ones,
Please accept the condolences of the Leghorn family and the Annual Christmas sing-along group of which Doug was a key contributor - his guitar accompaniment was the only reason we ever sang on key! What a sweet man, everyone enjoyed his infectious warmth and good humor. He will forever remain gentle on our minds. Leghorn Family

Sandy King

October 15, 2019

Esy, as he was known during our college days, and I shared a house during our senior year at the University of Connecticut. I returned from classes one evening to find a dead cat in our refrigerator - seems that in one of his science classes he was assigned the cat to autopsy and identify all of its parts. He thought it was hilarious that I had lost my appetite for dinner after the discovery. Typical for a serious student with a quiet sense of humor.
Esy, you will be missed by many!
Sandy King

Joe & Suzanne Rivers

October 15, 2019

Captain Esmond “Esy” Douglas Smith

“Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours though and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

To the Smith Family,
We are very sorry to hear about the passing of Esy. Our heartfelt condolences are with you.
Life brings tears, smiles, and memories. The tears dry, the smile fades, but the memories live on forever.

A True Gentleman. Phi Alpha.

With heartfelt sympathy, God Bless,
Suzanne and Joe Rivers & Family