Dan Smith, (45) of Suffield; beloved husband, dad, son brother and friend passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends on Wednesday, July 23 after a year- long struggle with glioblastoma brain cancer.
He was born on February 11, 1969 in Akron to Harry and Nancy (Davis) Smith. Dan leaves behind his devoted wife Melissa (Weaver) Smith of 21 years; dear daughters, Melody and Rachel Smith; parents; sister, Tammy (Mike) Simpson; nieces, Chelsea and Autumn. Loved like a son by Ken and Nancy Weaver and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
His favorite hobby was his love of model trains that he shared with his dad and Uncle Howie. He loved spending time on the Ohio River camping, boating and skiing with his family and other "River Rats". Since Dan was 15 he played saxophone with his Dad's band the Delci-Tones, then guitar for the Blue Notes and finally his favorite band the Flip Flops which had many devoted (F.F.) fans.
Dan's dedication as the City of Kent's Economic Development Director started in 2008 where his enthusiasm and personality helped to revitalize the downtown. The time was right for the "Town and Gown" relationship along with a team of dedicated people to rebuild and realize the potential that is the City of Kent. Dan continued his work at the City with the people he loved until March when the disease made him unable to continue working. His previous business and community experience included serving as Executive Director of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and the Director of the Central Portage County Visitors Bureau, concurrently from 1999-2008. An eleven-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Dan served seven years as a General Manager at two hotels in Brimfield Township.
Dan was a faithful member of Mogadore United Methodist Church. Dan was also a member of many local organizations including: past president and member of Kent Rotary, Kent Regional Business Alliance, Downtown Kent Corporation, a former United Way Board Member and County Campaign Chair, Kent United Services Organization-Heritage Festival Chair, Leadership Portage County graduate and a former member of their board of directors, board member of Family & Community Services, Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Central Portage County & Convention Bureau, Main Street Kent and Kent Social Services. Numerous Kent State University committees, founding member Kent-Dudince sister cities Association, Junior Achievement Consultant/Teacher.
A special thanks to Dr. Lisa Rogers, UH Seidman Cancer Center and to his hospice of Summa caregivers.
Calling hours will be 2-4 and 6-8 PM Sunday, July 27th at Bissler & Sons Funeral home in Kent.
A Celebration of Life (Cheeseburger in Paradise) will take place at KSU Hotel & Conference Center from 4-7 on Sunday, August 3rd. Hawaiian/casual attire suggested. In lieu of flowers, Dan's request was for contributions to: Mogadore United Methodist Church, 3828 Mogadore Rd., Mogadore OH, 44260; Kent Historical Society, 237 E. Main St.; Family & Community Services, 1066 S. Water St.; Coleman Professional Services, 5892 Rhodes Rd.; all in Kent OH 44240.