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Donald Edward Smith

Donald Edward Smith, 83, of Bradenton, passed away on October 27, 2018. He was born January 28, 1935, to Gertrude Leary Smith and Arthur E. Smith in Norwood, Massachusetts. He grew up in Sharon, Massachusetts and graduated from Boston College High School in 1952.

He joined the Naval Reserves and continued his education at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine and Electric Engineering as an Ensign.  He was called to active duty in the United States Navy on September 25, 1956. Later that year, he was promoted to Lieutenant J.G. and was promoted to full Lieutenant in September 1959.On June 19, 1957, an explosion in the Number 1 pump room on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, killed two men and injured 29. Don was among those who were injured. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism for actions aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 17, 1958.   He was Honorably Discharged from the United States Navy in January, 1961.

On May 18, 1957, he married the love of his life, Eleanor Ann Barry of Quincy, Massachusetts. They moved to Middletown, Connecticut in 1961 to begin his post-naval career with Pratt and Whitney as an Engineer. He moved into Executive Management when P&W became part of United Technologies in 1975. He spent the bulk of his career with Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, later United Technologies Power Systems Division, which designs, builds, furnishes and supports aero-derivative gas turbine and geothermal power systems for customers worldwide. These industrial gas turbines power everything from small businesses to small cities. PWPS’ industrial turbines not only generate electrical power, but provide variable speed mechanical drive for marine propulsion, gas compression, and liquid pumping. PWPS has over 2,000 industrial gas turbines installed in more than 40 countries worldwide. When not traveling and managing at UTC, Don was often in demand to emcee retirement parties.  With his quick wit and smooth personality, he was at ease in front of a audience and, word is, he led the festivities as well as any popular roast entertainer from the 70’s & 80’s. Don’s career at P&W and UTC spanned 32 years.

Don liked all sports, loved baseball, and all of the Boston teams.  When he saw there were many more kids than teams available to play Little League in Middletown, he founded the Spencer branch for Middletown Little League Baseball in 1971. The branch established 6 new teams to handle the growing part of town.  It still exists today.

He was active in St. Pius X R.C. Church for many years.   He provided legendary work during the annual Christmas Fair raising money and working the prize wheel. He was a Lecturn for masses and taught CCD. Don was always there to help a neighbor or friend in need on Nejako Drive or in town.

Don loved Bermuda, especially The Reefs and singing with Slippery.  He also loved lobster and clam bakes in the backyard. He also enjoyed their lake house in Hillsboro, New Hampshire.

He and Ann moved to Bradenton, Florida and joined the Tara Golf & Country Club in 1993.  He was elected to board of directors and served from from 1991 through 2002. At Tara, he enjoyed golf and playing cards with his buddies – any game – bridge, gin, cribbage were his favorites.

He is survived by his loving wife, Eleanor Ann Smith; four children, Donna Villeneau, Cynthia Leahy, Barry Smith, and Brian Smith; and has seven grandchildren, Brett, Kate, Janine, Carly, Kelsey, Ellie, and Shannon; and great-grandchildren Linley, Monte, and Hunter.

A Funeral Service is scheduled for 9:30am on Monday, November 12, 2018 at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, 12905 State Rd. 70, Lakewood Ranch, Florida, 34202.

In lieu of flowers, please place a donation in Don’s name to the Our Lady of the Angels Building Fund.


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  • David Donahue says:

    Donna, Cynthia, Barry, and Brian – I’m so sorry to hear the news of your Dad’s passing. We all were so lucky to grow up on Nejako Dr. in the 70’s. You guys have such a great family. My deepest sympathies to you all!

  • Barbara Schwartz says:

    Our deepest condolences and thoughts to the Smith Family.
    May your memories keep your hearts full of love.

  • Josephine Barket says:

    So very sorry to hear about Don’s passing My prayers are with you and your family at this sad time Josephine Barket