Kidney Disease Research and Innovation Fund

In lieu of flowers, please show your support in memoriam of David Lee Smith via donation to the Kidney Disease Research and Innovation Fund. These funds will be donated in David's honor to support kidney disease research and innovation, something David cared passionately about.

Chronic Kidney Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It currently affects 15% of the adult U.S. population and affects more than 1 in 7 U.S. adults (roughly  37 million individuals). 


David Lee Smith, 76, of Morganton, NC, passed away Tuesday, June 14, 2022. David was a warm, kind, and generous man who never forgot a name or face. A friend and role model to many he met, David charmed people with a wry smile and a passing joke for any occasion that would lift the spirits of everyone he met as he passed through life—even through to the very end. David had a green thumb and loved taking care of the plants and trees at his North Carolina home; he had a comprehensive knowledge of the natural world surrounding him. He loved his family, cooking, and eating food and was never happier than being surrounded by those he loved at a table. 

David grew up as an adventurous young boy in Granite Falls, NC playing football, water skiing (sometimes barefoot), and walking the dam at Lake Rhodhiss. He would spend summers with his cousins in Metter, Georgia, who became like brothers to him. As a young man, David studied at Kings College in Charlotte and then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with a BA in Business and Accounting. As an alumni of UNC, supporting the Tarheels was a favorite past time. He worked at Leviton Southern Devices, where he served as the Accounting Manager from 1976-2014. His warm character extended to his work colleagues, where he emanated team spirit and fun in everything he did. David’s love of numbers and math extended into a side job working at H&R Block, where if David did your taxes, he would most likely become your friend too. David spent many years working with the Collette Street Recreation Center as a baseball and soccer coach for youth in Morganton and was a dedicated member of Mt. Home Baptist Church. Many who know David are also aware of his love of music, and natural grace and rhythm, born from the beach music of his youth, stayed with him to the last days of his life.

David is survived by his wife, Derinda Ann Saunders, and children, Ash Eliza Smith and Aaron Smith (Brooke): grandchildren, Naomi and Norah; cousins, Gean Smith (Marion), Bob Smith (Joanne), Les Stinson (Ruth), John Stinson(Julie); sister-in-law, Debbie Bell (Ray); and numerous nieces and nephews, David was born to the late Nancy Gladys Smith of Granite Falls. In addition to his mother, David is preceded in death by his aunt, Ophelia Fox; cousins, Martin Smith and Dean Smith and grandmother Cordie Dysart Smith.

The family will receive friends from 2-3 PM, Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at Sossoman Funeral Home. The memorial service and celebration of David’s life will be at 3 PM in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral home with the Rev. Jerry Gamble officiating. There will be an opportunity for friends and family to share their remembrance during the service.

In place of flowers, please send support via donations in memory of David Lee Smith to: . The funds will support kidney disease research and innovation, something David cared for passionately.  Chronic Kidney Disease currently affects 15% of the adult U.S. population.

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements. Condolences, photographs and stories may be sent to the family by visiting 

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