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David S. Smith

December 16, 2021

David S. SmithDavid Stephen Smith, 66, passed away at his home in Clayton Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Dave was born in Rochester November 19, 1955, son of Gene and Mary (Williams) Smith. He received his BS from the College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse and attended the graduate program at Cornell University. On September 9, 1989 he married Heidi Claussen in Cooperstown.

Dave was very dedicated to the Clayton United Methodist Church, acting as trustee, caretaker and choir member. His faith and church family were profoundly important to him.

David first and foremost was an amazing father, husband, son, brother and friend to all he touched. He was an avid sportsman, competing in bicycle and cross-country ski races, always landing in the top of his class. Dave was a jack-of-all-trades; carpenter, landscaper, architect, and perfectionist. The vegetable garden was a great source of pride for him and his wife. An impassioned outdoorsman and conservationist, he enjoyed hiking, camping, and annual hunting trips to the ADKs.

Dave was very involved in community youth sports, leading the Clayton Youth Commission for several years. His passion was coaching soccer, and watching his sons play. This quiet, gentle man was all BUT when watching his sons compete on the soccer field, often disagreeing with ref’s decisions.

Dave dedicated his professional career to the care and management of the New York State forest lands he loved so much, culminating as the top DEC forest manager in the western Adirondack and Tug Hill regions. As Regional Forester, Dave guided the professional forestry team in DEC’s Region 6. Among his many achievements is the advancement of the conservation easement program which grew to protecting 400,000 acres as working forest lands, including the Long Pond, Tug Hill and Cranberry Forest Conservation Easement tracts. The Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust recognizes the contributions Dave made throughout his career to the Tug Hill region, and will soon be dedicating a conservation area in Le Ray in his honor.

Along with his wife, Heidi, and his parents, Gene and Mary, Cazenovia he is survived by his three sons, William Fitzer, Denver, CO, Ian Paul and fiance Allie Rosen, Buffalo, and Lucas DeForest, Clayton; brother Eric Keosky-Smith, AZ; three sisters, Victoria Smith, MD, Marta Dippel and husband Tim, NY, and Melissa Reagan and husband Duane, CT; two sisters-in-law, Cathy L. McMullin and husband Tim and Billie Sue Hollingsworth and husband Dale; one uncle, six nieces, eight nephews, and many loving cousins.

A memorial service will be held at a time and date in the spring of 2022 at Clayton United Methodist Church followed by a celebration of Dave's life and tree planting at the family farm. Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton and online condolences to his family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com. Donations in Dave's name may be made to either the Clayton United Methodist Church Organ Fund, 324 John St., Clayton, NY 13624 or to www.lustgarten.org for pancreatic cancer research.


#43 Cathy McMullin 2021-12-22 14:59
Our hearts are broken with the loss of our beloved brother in law Dave. He was genuine, kind, gentle and an asset to his family, his workplace, his community and his church. We will all miss you Dave.May you rest in peace and comfort.
Cathy and Tim McMullin
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#42 Walt & Gail 2021-12-22 13:52
Our sympathy to you and the family.
Walt & Gail Christensen
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#41 Kimberly Iverson 2021-12-21 22:26
Such a beautiful and deserving tribute to Dave and the legacy he left with church, family and community. I’m so sorry for your loss. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.
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#40 Wanda Phelps 2021-12-21 15:44
Heidi and boys,
Truly saddened by the news of Dave's passing. He was such a kind and thoughtful person to everyone he met. Will always cherish the many soccer memories we shared thru the youth commission, TISC and the high school years with the kids. He always seemed to see the good in all things, with maybe the slight exception of some referee calls. He will be missed by so many. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
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#39 Nancy Carlisle 2021-12-21 13:10
Heidi & Family - I am so sorry to hear of Dave's passing. What a wonderful caring man he was. Please know many people are thinking and praying for you.
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#38 lisa eppolito 2021-12-21 11:43
So incredibly sorry to hear the bad news. Heid,Will,Ian and Luke, know that your are in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your loss
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#37 Kelly Tinelli 2021-12-21 06:00
Heidi and boys we are so sorry for your loss of Dave. Our thoughts and prayers with you. Dave will be greatly missed,
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#36 Teresa Hastings 2021-12-20 16:09
Heidi I am so sorry to hear of Dave's passing. He is gone way to soon. But such a legacy not the least of which is being a wonderful husband and father. Thinking of you everyday. Peace.
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#35 Gary Fitzgerald 2021-12-20 15:46
Dear Heidi and family, I am so sorry to hear that Dave has passed away. He is much too young and way too talented and gifted a man to leave you so soon. My deepest sympathies to you and your family at this sad time.
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#34 Lynda Jackson 2021-12-20 15:44
Heidi, I am so sorry to read of the passing of your husband, we are sending you and your family our thoughts and prayers through this difficult time
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