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1941 J.D. 2023

J.D. Smith

June 28, 1941 — February 11, 2023


J.D. Smith (born John David) was born in Detroit MI, to parents John Paul and Betty Smith. The family moved to Denver CO in 1947. One of JD’s first jobs was in a bicycle shop and later in a television shop, he was always tinkering or fixing things. Before J.D. enlisted, he had a band and sang lead.

In 1958 JD joined the military choosing the branch he thought had the best-looking uniform. He was in forest recon and rose to the rank of Staff Sargent. Semper Fi!





1961 JD worked for several dealerships in the Denver area but found that they lacked the adrenaline rush that he so enjoyed. He became a Denver policeman, and then a detective for Pinkertons doing undercover work. He loved to make people believe he was someone else and his ability to fix and or operate equipment proved a very important skill during this period. When Pinkerton’s asked if he would relocate to Cincinnati, he realized his love for the country was more important to him. This brought the young Smith family to Breckenridge and then to Steamboat Springs Colorado.

He became a deputy and lead investigator at the Routt Co. Sheriff’s office using his key eye for detail helped him to solve many crimes, he developed the first crime lab in Steamboat, and I still have his fingerprint kit.

In 1972, he became a Master Mason and a 32°Scottish Rite Member of Denver.




In Steamboat he logged for a short period of time before going back to work as a mechanic on ski grooming equipment. That short stint logging would prove to be something he would revisit later.

JD owned a gas station, a Chrysler/Dodge Car dealership, was a master mechanic, electrician, a welder, and a fair plumber. JD also built a beautiful log home while he was working at the mine welding. He was always a very active and busy guy usually doing two or more jobs at a time.

JD and I married in 1982 and off we went to Northern California. JD worked for a Chevrolet Dealer but in 1986 he bought a Red Peterbilt that would become his 32-year office. JD loved his truck and was very proud of the way that his Ole’ Pete could out do most of the newer trucks in those steep landings. We stayed in California for 11 years until JD found an ad for a log truck driver in White Salmon WA. in 1993 and we fell in love with the country here and we felt we were “home”.

JD worked as an independent contractor for many area logging companies and was part of the Washington State Logging Conference. His last home was with Weyerhaeuser before he hung up his keys and sold Polly in 2017.

After his retirement JD became the most wonderful house husband a gal could get, he would fix both breakfast and dinner, pack my lunch (usually with a sweet note attached) and do the laundry. On the weekends we took our “road trip” to Longview to shop at Fred Meyer, eat out and do errands. In 2020, JD supported my efforts to go back to get my bachelor’s degree and spent much of his time doing things that I couldn’t due to my classes.

We always worked as a team on every project and event and the last thing we built together is our outdoor shed.





JD's hobbies included fishing, hunting, camping, he loved all animals especially dogs and rabbits, he was an excellent chef. JD could build things without blueprints, and he could fix most anything he touched. He loved cars and building them to be fast. (This is why we have 3 Jaguars!) J.D. was the tidiest person I have ever known, wildly funny, kind and patient, determined and persistent, an exceptional human being who always thought of others. He urged us to get involved with Walk N’ Knock canned food drive, to cook and serve holiday dinners at the Salvation Army and Community House. He was Vice Chair of Crime Stoppers and was the Treasurer of the Republican Party here in Cowlitz County. He loved his family and the great outdoors. JD always felt that his work in logging let him be closer to God.

JD was preceded in death by his parents John and Betty Smith, daughter Michelle Marie Murphy, and grandson Bradley Smith. JD is survived by his proud wife of 40 years Kellie, his devoted son John Paul Smith. Also survived by June Anderson, David Smith, Samira Brianna Smith, Debbra Howe, Shalisa Crawford, Emma Christianson, and Echo Isakson.



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