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1947 Douglas Smith 2024

Douglas Smith

January 14, 1947 — July 10, 2024

Douglas Corry Smith passed away peacefully on July 10th, 2024, in Lancaster due to a congenital heart defect and congestive heart failure. He spent his final day surrounded by loved ones in the comfort of his home.

Born in 1947, Doug lived a rich and fulfilling life. A scholar and educator, he earned three master’s degrees across various healthcare disciplines and dedicated 37 years to hospice care, including time as Executive Director of Kanawha Hospice Care in Charleston, West Virginia. Doug's impact extended nationwide, training healthcare professionals on serving the terminally ill and grieving– having done educational workshops in all fifty states and all the provinces in Canada.

Renowned for his storytelling prowess, Doug wove personal experiences, grist, grief, and debris of his life into compelling narratives that imparted profound life lessons. His career spanned roles as a priest in the Episcopal Church, a stockbroker, a Unitarian Universalist minister, and a bishop in the Orthodox Catholic Church of America. He was also proud to be a respected educator at the University of Wisconsin and Northern Michigan University, authoring eight books and numerous scholarly articles. He trained thousands of students and professionals on serving the terminally ill, the dying, and the grieving.

Doug cherished time with his family and embraced diverse hobbies such as reading, cycling, writing, and appreciating fine wine. He often spoke of finding happiness later in life, particularly relishing his role as a father, as a stepfather, and a grandfather.

Doug’s presence left an indelible mark on all who knew him. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness and compassion, continuing to inspire those whose lives he touched. All those who knew Doug loved his vulnerability, and his presence created a safe space for others to share their experience and offer their own vulnerability. The world is brighter, better, kinder because he was here.

Doug is survived by his beloved wife, Tara Potter; his son, Joshua Smith; grandsons, DeArzae Fasnacht and Autry Fasnacht; stepchildren Conley Potter, Eann Potter, and Gwen Palmer; and brothers Dan (Patty) Smith, Don (Val) Smith, and Dave (Jeneil) Smith. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Marjorie Smith; his brother, Dean Smith; and his daughters, Kristin Smith and Maren Smith.

A memorial service will be held at 10 am on July 16th, 2024, at St. John’s Episcopal Church on East Chestnut in Lancaster, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. John's Episcopal Church in Doug's honor.

“We’ll say goodnight here and good morning up there”- John Rice


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