Donald Ward Smith passed away Saturday, September 29, 2012 at the age of 87 in Madison. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Don was born in Flint, Michigan to Harold F. and Lila M. (McDonald) Smith on January 23, 1926. He married Alice Marjean Dunn on December 22, 1945.
Don joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school and the GI bill enabled him to attend college. After receiving a BA in Chemistry from Michigan College of Mining and Technology (Michigan Tech), Don earned his Masters and Ph.D. in 1951 from the University of Michigan in Medical Bacteriology. In 1954, Don joined the department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. As a Professor, he taught second year medical students and started an independent study program for medical students. He mentored many Doctoral and Master's degree candidates, sharing his enthusiasm for research and developing close family-like relationships with his students. Don was an internationally respected researcher of Tuberculosis, leading to 90 publications in peer-reviewed journals and many overseas trips to present his research findings at international conferences. After his retirement in 1991, the University of Wisconsin awarded Don Emeritus Professor Status. In addition to his academic and research contributions, Don volunteered with the group Hello Friends, calling on patients in nursing homes who had no family of their own. He loved his summers in McGregor Bay, Canada, where he would spend time with family and friends, fish, swim, and enjoy the wildlife.
Don is survived by his wife, Marjean; children, Janice Hayse, Steven Smith, Linda Layman, David Smith, and Douglas Smith; as well as six grandchildren, Katie, Michelle, Lizzie, Robby Layman, Lydia Blethrow (Justin) and Dinah Hayse (Manuel Kramer); and three great-grandchildren, Claire, Ronin and Soren Blethrow. A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison.
Memorials may be made in Don's name to Alzheimer's Association, South Central Wisconsin Chapter, 517 N. Segoe Road #301, Madison, WI 53705; or St. Jude's Hospice, 6333 Odana Road, Madison, WI 53719.