DAVID C. SMITH

Posted Nov. 09, 2009, at 8 p.m.

BANGOR – David C. Smith died Nov. 7, 2009. He graduated from South Paris High School in 1947, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948, spending most of his service time on the USS Coral Sea. He entered Farmington State Teachers College the autumn of 1952 and graduated as valedictorian of his class three years later. He earned a Master of Science degree in education, and Master of Arts degree in history and government from the University of Maine and a Ph.D. in history from Cornell University. He taught five years at Hobart and William Smith College, Geneva, N.Y., then returned to teach at the University of Maine until retiring in 1994. He was bird and bird professor of history. He was also professor of agricultural history at Maine Agricultural Experiment Station and professor of quaternary studies in the Institute for Quaternary Studies. He was awarded the University’s Researcher of the Year Medal, in 1989. He was also awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Maine at Farmington, in 1987. In 1997, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the 50th anniversary of his high school graduation. He gave lectures in several different departments while at Maine and more than 20 invited lectures at universities in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, England and Canada. In his lifetime, he wrote or edited more than 30 books and had more than 125 scholarly articles published. Smith was a well known scholar in four distinct areas of historical thought: agriculture and forest history in the U.S., historic climatology, six books on women in World War II and he was a world renown scholar on the life and times of H.G. Wells. His biography of Wells, “Desperately Mortal,” 1986 is a standard in the field of English literature. Smith thought of himself as a lucky man, he was able to spend his lifetime doing the three things he liked best, reading, writing and talking. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sylvia (White) Smith; son, Clayton, daughter, Katherine and her husband, Jamie Eves; grandson, Joshua and his wife, Karyn; and great-grandson, Zefram. There will be a private family gathering in the spring.

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