July 29, 2019


Donald “Don” Smith, 95, died Monday, July 29, 2019, at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital, Lake City.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Lake City, with Father Lynn Bruch presiding and burial at St. Mary Cemetery, Lake City. Visitation will be from

5-7 p.m. Thursday at Lampe Funeral Home, Lake City.

Donald Henry Smith was born Feb. 17, 1924, in Auburn, Iowa, to Frank and Janet (Frank) Smith. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1940 at age 16 and went to work on the family farm in Sac County north of Auburn. His brother Richard was drafted into the Army in 1941; after he was later killed in action in the Battle of the Kasserine Pass, the responsibility for all of the farm chores fell to Don. As the sole surviving son, Don served stateside in the Army from 1946-1948 and then returned to the family farm.

On July 22, 1957, Don married Elsie Van Ahn Wetter in Lake City. In addition to farming, Don and Elsie in 1970 started The Wagon Wheel restaurant and bar where people knew Don as “Smitty.” They retired from the restaurant business in 1988, and Don continued to farm and be an active member of the Lake City American Legion. He was a good man who loved his family and friends. He had a way of lighting up the room with stories of his life experiences. Don loved the farm and rural lifestyle and would often marvel at the beauties in nature. He was a cherished presence in many lives.

Don is survived by his daughter Donetta Stewart of Auburn and his grandson Zack Stewart of Ames; stepdaughters Marylyn Gillespie of Lake City and Sheila (Denny) Moulds of Auburn; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and sister Marie Yost of Omaha, Nebraska.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elsie, in 2007; daughter Melinda Smith in 2006; son-in-law Keith Stewart in 2008; brother Richard Smith in 1943; and sister Lucille Denhart.