Daniel J. Smith was born March 11, 1960, in Buffalo Center, the son of Vernon and Norma (Heetland) Smith. Dan grew up in rural Lakota, graduating from Ledyard High School in 1978. Following high school, he entered the Farm Power Mechanics Program at Iowa Central Community College and graduated in 1979.
After graduation, he began working as a mechanic at EJ Butler's John Deere in Elmore, MN. He thoroughly enjoyed his job and established a reputation as a great mechanic. Dan worked there until he was injured in 1982. Later on, he worked at the can redemption center; and was there until it closed.
After his injury, Dan lived with his parents and eventually moved to Village Northwest in Sheldon. In all those years he never complained and was an inspiration by taking joy in all that he experienced in his day to day life. He loved going out to eat and taking car rides to enjoy the scenic countryside. Spending time with family and friends was important to Dan and he loved coming home to be with them, especially during the holidays which often resulted a fun game of UNO. He would often call to check on his family to find out about work and how everyone was doing. He never failed to close out the conversation with, "I love you."
Dan was a member of a Bethany E&R church in Ledyard. Attending church was important to him and he would come in a wheelchair whenever he was able.
Dan died Sunday, December 6, 2020, at Happy Siesta Health Care Center in Remsen. He was 60.
Dan is survived by his sisters, Carol (Alan) Meyer of Lytton, Janet (Wayne) Voeltz of Rochester, MN, Shirley Willett of Lakeville, MN; brother, Rodney (Jodi) Smith of Lakota; sister-in-law, Sandy Smith of Lakota; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Preceding him in death are his parents; brother, Darwin Smith; sister, Marsha Lloyd; brothers-in-law, Donald Voeltz and Roland Willett.