Cover photo for Donovan Smith Jr.'s Obituary
Donovan Smith Jr. Profile Photo
1933 Donovan 2022

Donovan Smith Jr.

October 31, 1933 — July 26, 2022

Donovan Norman Smith Jr., 88, of Kansas City, Missouri passed away on July 26, 2022.

Donovan was born on October 31, 1933 in a farmhouse in La Porte County, Indiana to Donovan N. Smith Sr. and Edith Mildred (Bruce) Smith. In 1949, his family relocated to Oregon where he graduated from Triangle Lake High School in 1951. Soon after graduating, he moved to the Kansas City area to enroll in Park College (now Park University). After beginning as a history major, he received a degree in chemistry in 1956.  He met his wife Evelyn at Park College in 1955 and they married on February 25, 1967 in Hazelwood, MO.  He began his lifelong career with Bayer Crop Protection (ChemAgro, MoBay) in Kansas City in 1957 as employee number 60. Donovan worked as a chemist before taking the opportunity to move Dormagen, Germany from 1968 to 1970 as a manager trainee. Upon returning to Kansas City he was promoted to a management role, climbing through the management ranks and retiring from his position as Director of Manufacturing in 1996. Donovan was an inventor on two United States patents. He was a lifelong Chiefs fan and season ticket holder starting when the club moved to Kansas City in 1963 until 1987 and spent many Sundays watching the team with family. Inspired by the mini-series Roots, in 1979 he and Evelyn began researching their genealogies, after which many family vacations included stops at cemeteries, archives and county courthouses. In 2014, he began utilizing genetic genealogy tools to expand and confirm his family tree.  Donovan enjoyed tending to his flower garden, hosting social gatherings at his home, doing crossword puzzles, teaching neighbor children about nature, and most of all cherishing time spent with Evelyn, their two sons and five grandchildren. Donovan proudly helped lead Cub Pack 314 and Boy Scout Troop 314 in Platte Woods during his sons' time in scouts, was initiated into the Tribe of Mic-o-Say in 1980 (Warrior Fiery Mountain) and continued to stay involved with scouting for many more years.  After Evelyn’s death on November 13, 2004, he endowed a scholarship at Park University to help aspiring female chemistry students.

Donovan is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Evelyn Ann (Lare) Smith; sister, Betty Joan Cowan; and brother, Gerald Bruce Toscano.

He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his sons, Donovan N. (Jennifer Gallop) Smith III of Kansas City, MO, Andrew (Allison Merz) Smith of Portland, OR; grandchildren, Amanda Catherine Smith, Jordan Elizabeth Smith, Roman Merz Smith, Brinnan Merz Smith, and Alexander Donovan Smith; siblings, Jacquelyn Louise Wheeler of Portland, OR, Norma Jean Hicks of Cassopolis, MI, David Robert Smith of Longview, WA, and Rebecca Ann Kelsey of Granger, IN; and many extended family and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Terrace Park Cemetery - Lakeside Chapel on Sunday, July 31st from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., with some brief remarks at 2:00 p.m. A private family burial will follow.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Evelyn Lare Smith Endowed Scholarship at Park University.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donovan Smith Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, July 31, 2022

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Terrace Park - Lakeside Chapel


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