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Jun 25, 2024

SLVFD mourns the loss of 30 year member and past Rescue Chief Don O. Smith
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By SLVFD News Room
February 27, 2024

Don O. Smith, age 87, of Saranac Lake, NY died Thursday, February 22, 2024 at the Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake, NY.

Born at 2 William Street, Saranac Lake, New York on December 21, 1936, he was the son of Earl J and Bertha Isabella (Utting) Smith.

Don was a lifelong resident of Saranac Lake and worked for various businesses over the years including Thomas Glover Plumbing and Heating and for the Everett Dry Goods and Clothing Store.

Don was a veteran of the United States Army serving from 1960 to 1962 and the Army Reserve from 1962 to 1964. He was a member of the Whiteface Masonic Lodge #789 for over 65 years, the Malone Shriners since 1957, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3357, American Legion Post 447, Saranac Lake Moose Club and the St. Regis Sportsman Club. Don cooked turkey and other big feeds for all the sportsman clubs at the Red Tavern for several years. He served as a board member for the Saranac Lake Moose Club and as a Post Commander in 1996 for the Saranac Lake VFW. Don was also a member of the Saranac Lake High School Fire Squad and later became a member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad for 30 years where he served as fire Captain and his last four years as Chief of Rescue Squad.

He is survived by several nieces and nephews including Peter Burnham of Potsdam, NY, Patricia Burnham Manganini of Falmouth, MA, Robert E Smith of Shippensburg, PA, and Sally V Wise of Tarpon Springs, FL, as well several great nieces and nephews, and sister in law Merle R. Smith of Saranac Lake.

Don was predeceased by his brother Sydney E Smith and two sisters Virginia F. Petraitis and Martha L Burnham, as well as his niece Barbara J (Smith)Grey of Sterling, NY.

Many thanks to the staff at Mercy Living Center, Adirondack Health Center and Leo Bussy for all the help and support over the years.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A graveside service with military honors will take place in the spring at Pine Ridge Cemetery in Saranac Lake.

Friends wishing to remember Don O. Smith may make memorial contributions to the organization of your choice in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at

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Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department
100 Broadway
PO Box 509
Saranac Lake NY 12983

Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: 518-891-2333
Station Fax: 518-891-6991
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