Known to most as simply Dan Smith, he passed away from renal failure after a brief illness. Respected landlord, generous patron of the Pacific Symphony, a world traveler, our adopted “Uncle Dan.”
As he himself proclaimed, “Not bad for a little ol’ country boy from Santa Maria.”
Dan grew up in Santa Maria, CA but spent a lot of time in hospitals and confined to bed due to osteomyelitus. The disease left him with one leg shorter than the other, but that hardly slowed him down. He joined the marching band in high school and traveled the world, alone or in the company of family and friends. He met his long-time love, Jan Hampton, in the Down One Bridge Club. The club members socialized frequently, and received recognition for 25 consecutive years of attendance at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, a trip organized each year by Dan. Dan spent a lot of time alone, but he was never lonely. He made friends easily and was comfortable around people from all walks of life. Whether it was an immigrant tenant or a fellow patron of the arts, Dan could talk to anyone. He was successful and confident, but unassuming and humble. His generosity enriched the lives of many, not the least of which were young people who received assistance with college expenses, or travel opportunities. Though only attending a year or two of college himself, he believed in education. He recognized that, ”education is expensive, and not all of it takes place in a classroom.”
Dan is survived by his companion, Jan Hampton, his niece and nephew, Patricia Smith and Russell Smith, sister Marilyn Davis and the Parent Family and Laird-Davies Family, who were also his family in every way but DNA.
Funeral Services will be live-streamed by Heritage Memorial Services, Huntington Beach. to view the service, click here:
Burial will be at a private family ceremony in Santa Maria. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to Shriners’ Hospital or the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.
To plant a tree in memory of Wilbert Daniel Smith, please click here.