David L. Smith of Osceola, died Oct. 1, 2020. from natural causes, not Covid-19 related. He was 88.
He was born in Winona, Minn., on Nov. 26, 1931, to parents, Russell and Anna Smith.
He graduated from Alma High School in 1950 in Alma, Wis. College was interrupted as he served as a sergeant in the Korean War from 1952-1954 and then graduated from Winona State in 1956.
David married Mary Ann Werner on June 8, 1957, in St. Paul, Minn. He was a teacher and basketball coach for 16 years, a land developer, and a grain sampler for the State of Minnesota. As the point guard of the great 1947-48 basketball team, he was inducted into the Alma High School Athletic Hall of Fame. While in the Army, he played and coached his company basketball team to win the All-Korea Army Basketball Tournament. That championship led to an exhibition match against the Korean National basketball team. The U.S. Army team was victorious in overtime, thereby conferring David with a lifetime 1-0 record representing the United States in international basketball competition. He was a 4-year starter on the Winona State Warriors basketball team.
While in Winona, he met a lovely librarian on a blind date. In Mary, he found a lifetime partner with a similar love for basketball. Whether supporting him while he coached the varsity teams in Pepin, Dodge Center, Oliva, or Bruce, keeping score while he coached his kids and grandkids, or just finding a local team to root for while wintering in New Orleans or San Diego, Mary and Dave made the ultimate basketball “power couple.”
Dave had special love of “the Sport of Kings,” as he owned and trained several thoroughbred race horses, racing them in many states. He also loved to “play the ponies” and to host annual Kentucky Derby gatherings with dear friends.
Dave was a charter member of the Big Briggs Boys hunting camp, where his skill as a hunter led to him bringing home exactly one deer in approximately 25 seasons. He typically met with more success around the camp’s poker table, but he always enjoyed the time spent with his buddies.
David was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Russell “Carroll”, Gene, and Vince; sisters, Rosemary Smith and Patricia Smith Flores.
He is survived by his wife Mary; sister, Eileen Paloolian of Carson City, Nev.; daughters Heidi (Mahjoub) Labyad of Duluth, Minn., Carla (Mike) Bebault of Hudson, son Paul (Janet) of Osceola; 10 grandchildren Nadia Labyad, Leila Labyad, Anissa Labyad, Zack Labyad, Rikka (Nick) Bonnell, Tyler (Afsaneh) Bebault, Hali (Michael) Weiss, Anna (Victor) Yoma, Maddie (Ashland Ellis) Smith, Emily Smith; five great-grandchildren whom he adored, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews from coast-to-coast.
A private family funeral service will be held Oct. 6 at Peace Lutheran Church in Dresser, with hopes of a “Celebration of Life” to be held in the future, circumstances permitting. Interment at Peace Lutheran Cemetery in Dresser.
Arrangements by the Grandstrand Funeral Home in Osceola, Wisconsin. Condolences may be expressed online at www.grandstrandfh.com
In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to Peace Lutheran Church, Dresser, or Winona State University Warrior Club Scholarship Fund: https://www.alumni.winona.edu/page.aspx?pid=271