On April 26, 2007 a great man was honored to be taken into the presence of God. 

This man was also my father, and as a tribute to him, I have posted this page.


On October 24, 2010 during the morning, Betty Smith - Don's wife and my mother -

left us peacefully to be with Don.  Freed from the confines of a failing body

and a loneliness she often expressed, we rejoice with her having completed her journey;

a journey she has been ready to take for some time.

To those that have sent comments about Don and Betty, I personally thank you. 

-- Rockwell Smith

There are some links near the end that give more insight into Don's life and ministry.


Picture is of the "Wild Meadow" on Dad's Skyrange Ranch


Don lan Smith was born October 16,1918, in Salt Lake County, Utah.  He was the fourth of six children born to Arthur T. and Elizabeth Symon Smith. 


Dad's the little guy in the front row with the long white stockings.


He grew up on a farm near Rupert, Idaho and graduated in 1936 from Rupert High School.

In 1940, he graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon with a major in sociology.



In 1944, he earned his Masterof Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. 

During his student years at Garrett, he was appointed to serve the Winthrop Harbor Methodist Church, in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois.




While serving the Winthrop Harbor church, he oversaw a building campaign there to build a new parsonage. 



On April 26,1941, he married Elizabeth (Betty) Moser of Tenino, Washington.

They met while attending Willamette University and were married in Seattle.






They made their home in Winthrop Harbor until his graduation from seminary in 1944, at which

time they accepted an appointment to the Salmon Federated Church in Salmon, Idaho.



In 1947, he was appointed to the Methodist Church in Burley, Idaho,where he served

for two years before returning to Salmon where he served while the church built a parsonage and

then undertook the construction of the current Salmon United Methodist Church, which was completed in 1952. 





He served the Salmon church until 1964, during which time he called on people in every nook  

and cranny of Lemhi County and started circles and vacation Bible schools in places such as Cobalt

and Leadore, as well as closer to Salmon. One circle up the Lemhi River eventually organized to

become the Lemhi United Methodist Church. In 1957, LOOK Magazine featured the Salmon

Methodist Church as Methodism's outstanding rural parish. 



While serving the Salmon Methodist Church, Don purchased a ranch on

Withington Creek, which he operated with his family.




The ranch was one of his greatest loves, as well as providing inspiration for his preaching and writing.


 He also served six years as probation and parole officer for the Lemhi County juvenile court,

which enhanced his work as a pastor and his relationship to the community. 


Don and his family moved to Laurel, Montana in 1964, where he served the Laurel Methodist Church for two years.



 He then took a two-year sabbatical, returning to Salmon to ranch, teach at Salmon High School, and sell real estate.

In 1968, he accepted another church appointment, at the United Methodist Church in Choteau, Montana.

The following year, he accepted an appointment to Hillview United Methodist Church in Boise, Idaho,

where he served until his retirement from full-time ministry in 1983.

While he served at Hillview, the church built its sanctuary and its educational wing. 



During his retirement, Don also served churches at Jordan Valley, Oregon, Filer, Idaho, and Gilchrist, Oregon.

Don served terms as president of the Rotary Club in Salmon and in Boise, and was active in sportsman's clubs and cattle associations.



Don's favorite recreations have involved horses and back country.  He enjoyed big game

hunting, fishing, endurance riding and exploring Idaho's ghost towns and less traveled roads.





Don passed away at his home in Salmon on April 26, 2007, on his 66th

wedding anniversary, with his wife Betty at his side. In addition to Betty,

he is survived by three children: Heather Smith Thomas (Lynn) of Salmon;

Rockwell (Bev) Smith of Boise; Heidi Smith; one brother, Robert "Bob" (Erleen "Lee") of Pulaski,

Tennesee; and one sister-in-law, Alice (David) Smith of Milwaukee, Oregon. Two brothers,

Arthur L Smith and David S. Smith, and two sisters, Grace Szigethy and Connie Anderson,

preceded him in death. He is also survived by six grandchildren,

ten great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.



Services were held at the Salmon United Methodist Church on Friday, May 4, at 10:30 a.m.

under the direction of Jones and Casey Funeral Home, followed by a dinner.  

Burial followed in the Salmon Cemetery.   The family suggests that memorials in his memory

be sent to either the Salmon United Methodist Church or the Lemhi United Methodist Church. 


Click here to find a couple poems that were read at the funeral


Click here to read about The Last Circuit Rider




Don's family circa late 1940's

Front Row:   Grace, Elizabeth (Dad's Mom), Arthur (Dad's Father), Connie

Back Row:   Bob, Art, David, Don




Throughout his ministry and on into his retirement, he had been a freelance writer, writing numerous magazine articles and several books, including: BY THE RIVER OF NO RETURN, 1967; WILD RIVERS AND MOUNTAIN TRAILS, 1972; SAGEBRUSH SEED, 1982; THE OPEN GATE, 1989; SYMON'S DAUGHTER, 2001; and MURDER ON THE MIDDLEFORK, 2005. A book of his scripturally-based short stories was published posthumously.  If  you would like to find out about Don's books, please go to the contact link and send me a note.  Thanks  -- Rockwell Smith