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Donald E. Smith

April 20, 1919 ~ May 16, 2018 (age 99)

Donald E. Smith of Sykesville, Maryland, formerly of Baltimore, died May 16, 2018 at age 99 at Fairhaven. Born in Highlandtown, Don was the son of the late Earl and Naomi Smith and husband of the late Marie (Dippel) Smith. He graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic High School and he served following Pearl Harbor in the Navy in World War II as an electronic technician concerned with maintenance of radar and sonar equipment. After the war, through the GI Bill, Don studied and graduated from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Engineering and obtained his professional engineer’s license. He spent most of his career with the Department of Defense in Research and Development in the field of rockets and missiles. This task connected him with NASA where he became associated with the early astronauts in the space program and with Werner von Braun. He was at Cape Canaveral for two moon firings and later became closely acquainted with astronaut Michael Collins who encircled the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, fellow astronauts. Don and Marie were well-travelled and completed a six-month trip around the world. Don and Marie moved from Baltimore to Carroll County in 1988. Their traveling continued and, in their retirement, they also took courses at a branch of Catonsville Community College located in Westminster. The Smiths were pioneers of the Carroll Community College Endowment Fund established in 1990. At the first college graduation ceremony in 1994, Don and Marie received the college medal of support for higher education at Carroll Community College and in the state of Maryland. Don established a scholarship at the college for computer science and engineering students; Marie established a scholarship in teaching. In 1998, the college named the main drive into the campus “Don & Marie Smith Drive” in the Smiths’ honor. Don was a member of the American Legion, Sykesville post, the Elks, the Moose, and the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association and he was a Mason, part of the Freedom Lodge, and was recently recognized by the Grand Chapter of Maryland for 70 years of Masonic service. In addition to his parents and wife, Don was predeceased, by his brother, Warren Smith, as well as by beloved companion, Margaret “Peggy” Robbins. Surviving Don are two nieces and a nephew as well as Fairhaven friends and fellow church members at both St. Benjamin’s Lutheran Church, Westminster, and Springfield Presbyterian Church, Sykesville. A memorial service for Don, preceded by a Masonic memorial service, will be held at Fairhaven on Tuesday, June 12 at 11 a.m. A private inurnment ceremony will follow at Parkwood Cemetery, Taylor Avenue, Baltimore. The Jeffrey N. Zumbrun Funeral Home, 6028 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg, MD is assisting with funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at

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