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Remembering Don H. Smith

Don H. Smith, a 30-year resident of Oakhurst, passed away November 4, 2018, at age 88. He was born in Glendale, California, to Harvey and Geneva Smith.

During the years 1951 and 1952 Don served in the U.S. Army in Berlin, repairing radios on Army jeeps. For the next 27 years he worked as a technician for Beckman Industries in Southern California, designing and testing medical equipment.

There he met Jean Bonnett, married her in 1962, and adopted her three-year-old daughter Debra. Don and Jean retired and moved to Oakhurst in 1987.

When Jean passed away in 1993, Don continued gardening and working in the shop he had built, making bird houses, clocks and other creative items. An excellent craftsman, he worked on some of the holiday decorations in Oakhurst, and became known as a neighborhood handy man.

Late in 1999, Don met Elaine Paisley, who would become his partner for the next 18 years. They ushered in the millennium hiking, camping and traveling.

Don’s family and friends appreciated his thoughtful, quiet nature, his methodical approach to projects, and his caring listening. He was happiest when he was making others happy.

He is survived by his sister Veda Thompson in Boerne, Texas; a niece and nephew; his daughter Debra Nicacio and her husband Ruben; two grandsons and their wives; one great-grandson, another on the way; several cousins; his partner Elaine Paisley; and her son Dan Moody.

The family wishes to thank Jasmine and Drona Ingwaba from the former Country Rose Assisted Living in Coarsegold; staff of the Oakhurst Health and Wellness Centre; and Optimal Hospice for their loving care.

A small family gathering will be held at a later date.

Don loved animals, domestic and wild, even the deer who nibbled his garden. Remembrances may be made to EMCSPCA (Eastern Madera County animal shelter), PO Box 1314, Oakhurst, CA 93644, or www.emcspca.org.

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