David P. Smith, 61, Bristol
For 39 years he was the beloved husband of Karen Ann (Emery) Smith.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, he was a son of Mary Ila (Moore) Smith of Bristol and formerly of Middletown and the late LCDR Henry Battle Smith, USN.
He is the father of Kevin Robert Battle Smith of Portland, Maine.
Cmdr. Smith served in the United States Navy for 26 years, retiring in 2001. He served aboard five ships, including the USS Butte AE-27. He was the final Captain of the USS Butte and retired her in 1996. When he was not at sea he taught at the Naval War College, the United States Naval Academy, the Command School and the Surface Warfare Officer's School (SWOS).
Before entering the U.S. Navy, he received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Rhode Island in 1974 and his M.A. in American Literature from the University of Illinois in 1975. He subsequently earned a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College in 1997 and in 1999 he acquired his third M.A. in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Rhode Island. He was admitted to three PhD programs: the University of Illinois, the University of Maryland and the University of Rhode Island. He was a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in Rhetoric and Composition when he became ill.
He was an avid reader of non-fiction; he favored biographies, military and constitutional history, and literary research. He wrote articles on literary criticism and was published regularly. He appreciated all genres of music except for musical theater. He professed a profound puzzlement as to why someone would burst into song when faced with a crisis.
He enjoyed camping and activities with his son, and he valued his family and friends. He was a communicant of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Bristol.
In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by a son, Kevin R. B. Smith and his partner, Johanna LaPierre of Portland, Maine; two sisters, M. Patricia Santos and her husband Everett of Bristol, Dr. M. Kathlyn Nelson, DMD and her husband Paul of Middletown; his mother-in-law M. Marilyn "Nana" Emery of Bristol; his maternal aunt, Doris G. Carter of Wichita, Kansas; two sisters-in-law, Marcia and William Westveer and Kathleen and Buddy Heeringa all of Michigan. He is also survived by eight nephews (five serving on active duty), two nieces, two great-nieces and a great-nephew, six cousins, and three God-daughters.
Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 4 - 7 p.m. at the Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood St. in Bristol. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 141 State St. in Bristol.
Immediately following the Mass of Christian Burial, Military Honors will take place on the Bristol Town Common. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 141 State St., Bristol, RI 02809 or to the Alzheimer's Association, RI Chapter, 245 Waterman Street, Suite 306, Providence, RI 02906 or online at www.alz.org/ri/
For online condolences, shared memories, information and directions go to www.sansonefuneralhome.com.