Obituary of Douglas Wayne Smith
Douglas Wayne Smith of Grass Valley passed away Sunday, September 17th at Wolf Creek Care Center after having a long battle with congestive heart failure. He was 81 years of age. Douglas was a native born son of Grass Valley. He moved back to Grass Valley from Gridley, CA four years ago to spend his last few years near his son. He will be laid to rest at Greenwood Memorial Gardens with his mother, Evelyn, and two of his brothers Bruce and Donald. Graveside services will be held on Saturday, October 7th at 11:00 am. A celebration of life reception will be held immediately following at the home of his son Stephen B. Smith in Grass Valley.
Douglas was born August 4, 1936 to Frederick Barr Smith and Evelyn Hodgson at the Landis Clinic in Grass Valley. He was the youngest of six children. His father, Frederick, was a gold miner at the time and his mother, Evelyn, managed the household. Douglas’s mother passed away shortly after his birth and was laid to rest in Grass Valley in 1939.
Faced with having to raise six children on his own Doug’s father, Fred, moved the family to Marysville. His brothers were cattle ranchers in the area, and Frederick too began raising cattle and had a small dairy ranch in Olivehurst.
Douglas attended Marysville High School and graduated with the Class of 1955. While at MHS he played football, was the Boy’s Club President and was also nominated “Carnival King.” After graduation, he married Lea Rae Barber. They had three children: Stephen, Stacy and Shari. He began his working career out of high school with the telephone company as a lineman. In 1958, he got a position with Devon’s Jewelers in Woodland where he learned the jewelry trade. Within a year he was transferred to the Marysville store for Devon’s where he developed his skills and eventually was appointed manager of the new Devon’s Jewelers in the Yuba City Mall. In 1971, he opened his own jewelry store on 5th Street in Marysville and became known as “The King of Diamonds.” Douglas opened a second jewelry store in the Hillcrest Plaza in Yuba City in 1978; he had both those stores until 1984. He eventually owned jewelry stores in Rocklin, Auburn and Lincoln until finally retiring from the jewelry business after 40+ years.
During his early career Douglas belonged to a few local service organizations, The Marysville Elks, Junior Chamber of Commerce and the local 20/30 club. However, one of his favorite volunteer positions was when he was Marysville’s Santa Claus. Douglas served the Marysville community as Santa Claus for several years during the early sixties. Riding in on the fire truck and greeting children at Ernie’s Toyland was a special memory for him. Doug was a very happy and outgoing individual. He had a big heart and loved his family. He was always positive, upbeat and ready to have fun. Anyone that knew Doug was touched by his smile and endearing manner. He will be missed. He is survived by his 3 children; son, Stephen Smith of Grass Valley, and his daughters Stacy Meagher and Shari Payne both of Yuba City. His grandchildren Drennen Pierce of Yuba City, Christian Smith of Los Angeles, Augustin Smith of San Diego, Stephanie Smith of Reno and Montana Payne of Yuba City. In addition, he is survived by his sister Pat Nantell of Michigan, his sister Gwendolyn’s children Brad Roberts and Debbie Roberts from the Bay Area. Along with several cousins and extended family.
Arrangements are under direction of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grass Valley United Methodist Church, 236 S. Church St., Grass Valley, CA 95945.
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