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Richard ‘Dick’ C. Smith

MINNEAPOLIS — Richard “Dick” C. Smith, age 84, of Minneapolis, died Aug. 20, 2012, while, as he liked to say, he was “roughing it in the north woods” at his cabin on Lake Edward in Crow Wing County. Built by Dick in the late 1950s, he enjoyed spending as much time as possible at the lake, where he continued to make enhancements to his cabin right up to the end. Dick Smith was born May 3, 1928, to Clarence and Blanche (Kiesner) Smith in Minneapolis. His love of building things started at a young age when at the age of 10 he would design and build nativity sets out of wood recovered from discarded orange crates. During WWII, while in high school, he was a handyman at Camp Lake Hubert during the summer and worked two jobs in addition to going to school during the school year, using earned money to purchase the lot where he would build his first home. After graduating from Washburn High school, he attended the University of Minnesota for a few years. He then went to work for Buick Motor Division of General Motors. During this time, he had lunch at the Minnesota State Fair with Harvey Earl, the famed General Motors car designer, who was in town promoting his new car design. On Sept. 25, 1948, he married his first wife, Elaine R. Marshall. Together they had six children. On Nov. 6, 1979, he married his wife of 33 years, Leslie Kennedy Dunne, where his family grew with the addition of Leslie’s two daughters. In the early 1950s, he had his own business building garages and houses. He then went to work as a salesman for Barrett roofing division of Allied Chemical. In the early 1960s, he worked for Vern Donnay homebuilders, and then Streater Store Fixtures. On Nov. 1, 1965, he started his own company, R. C. Smith Company, in the garage of his home in Edina, Minn. This company remodeled drug stores in the five state region, when privately owned drug stores were more common. The company is now owned by his son, Peter, and continues to build cabinetry for retail stores, offices and hospital pharmacies and labs. His patented cabinet designs have been installed in over 4,000 installations in 14 countries around the world. Dick was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Elaine; a son, Richard C. Smith Jr.; his sister, Shirley Boughton (Lt. Col. William); and his brother, Ralph (Darlene). He is survived by his wife, Leslie; a sister, Charlotte Moyer (Dr. John); a brother, Phil (Gloria); children, Deb A. Anderson (Ed Herzog), of Minnetonka, John G. (Dawn), of Bloomington, Michael M. (Marilyn), of Burnsville, Mark G. (Julia), of Edina, Peter J. (Maria), of Edina, Sarah Dunne Moses (Curt), of New Brighton, Bridget Dunne Jaeger (Peter), of Minneapolis; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Funeral mass will be held on Friday, Aug. 24 at 11 a.m. at Annunciation Church, at 509 W. 54th Street in Minneapolis. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the church. Private burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Minn., on Saturday, Aug. 25. Memorials preferred to Annunciation School.