David William Smith, 72, passed away peacefully with his beloved daughters by his side on August 13, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Dave was born on March 11, 1951, to Norman and Jane Smith. As a teen, Dave would visit his grandmother in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and work at Pine Crest summer camp. This was where he developed his love of summer programs and what led him to his years of service at Camp Highlander in North Carolina. After he graduated from high school, Dave would leave whatever job he had at the time, just to return to camp each summer. His decision to attend Concordia College, Bronxville, NY eventually led to the opportunity to become an educator. Dave dedicated his career of over 40 years to the students at Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He began by teaching middle school math, wood shop and home economics, but spent most of his career teaching 7th and 8th grade government. In addition to teaching, Dave coached track, softball, basketball, and football and was the Middle School Athletic Director. His involvement in Pine Crest Athletics brought him a great deal of pride. Even after his retirement in 2021, Dave could be seen sporting his PC attire, the iconic green polo shirt and khaki shorts combo.
Dave, or “Big Dave,” as he was lovingly referred to by his Camp Highlander family, will always be remembered for his hugs. Dave possessed a lifetime supply of camp stories that he eagerly shared whenever he was given the opportunity. He spent 55 summers on that special mountain, and he cherished every one of them. The friendships he made at camp became much like family to him, and Dave held a special place in his heart for each of them.
Dave enjoyed family get-togethers. He was always willing to fire up the grill or jump in his truck and head to wherever the event was being held, no matter how far the drive. And make no mistake, he’d have the volume cranked up while singing along to a Crosby, Stills and Nash or Paul Simon CD. He was also an avid LSU Tigers fan. Dave instantly connected when Kendall and Megan began their freshman year at Louisiana State University in 2012. Regardless of the sport or venue, he was always tuned in. After retirement, Dave became a football season ticket holder and enjoyed the entire game day experience - GEAUX TIGERS!
Most recently, Dave was overjoyed to learn that he was about to become “Papa Dave” to Megan and Trey’s first child, Harper Bailey Larose.
Dave was predeceased by his parents, Norman and Jane Smith, and his sister Carolyn Hendrickson.
Dave is survived by his daughters Kendall Smith (Thomas) and Megan Larose (Trey), his brothers Daniel Smith (Debbie) and Martin Smith (Nancy), his former wife Lara Weiss Smith, his brothers-in-law Robb Weiss (Jodi) and Jason Weiss (Dana), many nieces and nephews; Matt (Orianna), Jake, Hannah, Ryan, Samantha (Eric), Danny, Michael (April), Karen (David), Cameron, Jack, Jake, Sienna, Garrett, Morgan and Kyle, and several great nieces and nephews.
At Dave’s request, there will not be a funeral service. However, to honor Dave’s love of Pine Crest Athletic Programs, donations can be made to the David Smith Athletic Award Fund at Pine Crest School online at www.pinecrest.edu/giveonline in memory of him.
Arrangements entrusted to Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home - Hammond. An on-line guest book is available at www.harrymckneely.com.