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Bud Smith

April 1, 1941 - April 3, 2020

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Ashby W. “Bud” Smith Jr., 79, found his final peace on Friday, April 3, 2020, resting comfortably in his home. His three children surrounded him with loving care before leukemia took him to join his wife, Joyce.

Bud was born April 1, 1941 to Ashby Wade and Mary Lee (Price) Smith in Washington, D.C. He attended a boys’ prep school, Landon, where he nurtured his talent for sports: playing football at varsity level and setting the stage for future marathons, leisurely cycling, and rec-league softball. From the age of seven, he steadily mastered the piano, which remained a lifelong passion much to the delight of his family, friends, and church communities where he volunteered his time.

In the summer of 1963, while enlisted in the Air Force at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, he met Joyce in Custer State Park. A few years later fate brought them together again: Bud was enrolled in economics at the University of Maryland and the two started dating when Joyce accepted a job in Washington, D.C. The couple married in Silver Spring, Maryland, January 15, 1967, the beginning of 52 loving years together.

Bud was a skilled woodworker and built many wooden boats throughout his life, the first of which Joyce almost scrapped since she couldn’t cook with so much sawdust in the kitchen (aka temporary shop) of their small apartment in Annapolis, Maryland. He built a sailboat, kayak, and cedar strip canoe. His final unfinished project, a 5-bunk houseboat, still hopes to cruise the crystal waters of Lake Pend Oreille, as a lasting tribute to his memory.

Bud relocated with IBM to Lake Oswego, Oregon, where he and Joyce started a family. They had three children, Suzanne, Garrett, and Gregory. He was a family man with an active role bringing up his kids. His tickle fights and roughhousing will forever be remembered as loving fathering.

He cultivated a sense of adventure in his kids and instilled self-confidence by encouraging them to explore further and reach higher. His kids would climb to the tops of trees to view the horizon, and would hang on tight to a 30-foot tire-swing which Bud would have gleefully pushed full around if gravity hadn’t got in the way. A bit more sedentary but no less enthusiastic, were the ritual card games of hearts, bridge, or cribbage. He knew how to start and maintain family traditions which have now passed on to his grandchildren.

Bud and Joyce explored the Pacific Northwest in an iconic orange VW camper and quickly set their sights on Sandpoint, Idaho, a long-sought outdoor paradise. The family moved to Spokane, Washington, in 1980 because it was a short drive to their property on Oden Bay where they spent weekends camping before building their dream home in 1988.

In his later years, if you didn’t find him in his boatyard, Bud might be barbecuing on the deck, dozing off in the midst of admiring the view, listening to classical music, or attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He recently celebrated 46 years of sobriety and has helped numerous individuals confront their dependence on alcohol.

He is survived by his children Suzanne LaValley of Sandpoint, Idaho, Garrett (Celine) Smith of Colomiers, France, Gregory Smith of Sandpoint, Idaho, his two grandchildren, Evanne Smith and Luka Smith both of Colomiers, France, his sisters, Pat (Richie) Moran of Ithaca, New York, Carolyn Fisher of St Augustine, Florida, and Judy (Rick) Judson of Wilmington, North Carolina, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Joyce Marie (Anderson) Smith.

He asked that any donations be made to the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, PO Box 907, Sandpoint, ID 83864, 208-265-4444, sandpointconservatory.org, which is raising funds to purchase his much-loved Bösendorfer grand piano. Donations may also be made in his honor to the Center for Wooden Boats, 1010 Valley Street, Seattle, WA 98109, 206-382-2628, cwb.org.

Bud was an entertainer. He read books aloud to his kids, sang improvised lyrics at the campfire while playing the ukulele, and caressed all strains of music from the keys of his piano. His legacy lives on in the mind and manners of those he touched.

Memorial services will be organized in celebration of his life in August once large groups can congregate again. An announcement will be made at a later date.