Donald K. Smart, 77, lifelong resident of Brainerd, passed away Friday, September 16, 2022.
Donnie was born November 12, 1944, in Brainerd, the son of Kenneth and Delores (Preimesberger) Smart. After graduating from Brainerd High School, he attended Brainerd State Junior College where he played Basketball for 2 years. He then took a job at Northwest Paper Company which later became Potlatch and worked nearly 40 years in the Paper making business making a lot of friends along the way. After his paper mill career ended he took a job with the DNR of Minnesota/Forestry Division taking care of the Rock Lake Campground and the Pillager Horse Campground for 7 years meeting a lot more friends. Donnie was a social butterfly and could strike up hours of conversation with just about anyone. Donnie played a lot of sports in his lifetime amateur baseball, fast pitch softball, slow pitch softball, church and commercial league basketball and bowling he loved his sports. Donnie had a passion to hunt and fish as well with many trips to Montana for deer and Alaska for salmon and halibut. Deer and duck hunting was something he looked forward to do each year in Minnesota with his Fifty Lakes Deer camp gang. Donnie loved to visit with anybody willing to lend an ear especially on his daily lunch/supper trips to Wings Café, Legion Club, Oak Lawn Tavern, KC’s Saloon and The Hunting Shack. Donnie’s love of playing sports led him to being a big sports fan of watching the Brainerd Warriors, CLC Raiders and SCSU Hockey. Donnie was the owner of 100’s of hats and t-shirts from his traveling around he loved picking up a new hat or shirt wherever he was at.
Donnie will be missed by his sons, Shawn and Seth Smart their mom Diane Smart; grandson Samuel Smart; granddaughter Mikaela Martinson; great-grandchildren Kinzey, Hudson and Jett; sister Susie (Scott) Fisher; brother Joseph; and nieces Heidi, Nikki, Amy, Tiffany, Kacey, Ashley, Sarah, Piper and Kinzie ; nephews Cade, Graham, Scottie, Jason and Jacob; and many great nieces and great nephews.
Donnie was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Gene, Loren and Tommie.
A Celebration of Life for Donnie will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at Nelson- Doran Funeral Home in Brainerd. Family and friends are invited to gather one hour prior to services and to stay for a luncheon to follow. Interment will take place at Evergreen Cemetery.
Arrangements have been made with Nelson- Doran Funeral Home.