Cover photo for Thumper Smith's Obituary
Thumper Smith Profile Photo
1959 Thumper 2018

Thumper Smith

February 28, 1959 — May 21, 2018

Thumper D.R. Smith passed away on Monday, May 21, 2018, after several months bravely living through the ordeals of brain cancer.  He was born in Carbondale, Illinois on February 28, 1959.  He attended Edwardsville (IL) High School, McKendree College in Lebanon, IL, and graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.  He went on to have a long career in software engineering and design, developing Unigraphics software.  He loved sailing, live music, playing his guitar, singing, cooking, listening to NPR, campfires, family and friends, travel, and being uniquely himself.

Those staying behind to miss his brilliant mind and delightful spirit are his wife Brenda; his children Tere Smith and her daughters Natalie and Avery, Penny Lane Smith, and Andrew Smith; his siblings Judy Gerlach and husband Steve, Wesley Smith and wife Louanne, Steve Smith and wife Joyce, Gloria Wyeth, and Pat Harper and husband Michael; many nieces and nephews; his step-children Katie May and husband Matt and children Haiden and Hailey, and Bryan Kramlich and wife Hollie and children Alexander and Benjamin; many close friends throughout the world, and the entire Docktown Community of Redwood City, CA.

We were all part of his antics and his stories, and will all continue to tell our Thumper stories through the ages.  The family deeply appreciates everyone who supported him with a helping hand and kindness, food and goodies, pool games at the yacht club, and chats from the front deck. In lieu of gifts, please become an NPR sustaining member, and remember to be thoughtful and kind to one another.  As Thumper often said, “Love is all that matters.”

Thumper’s ashes were sent to sea in Redwood City, CA on July 19, and his name will be engraved on his parents’ headstone in Woodlawn Cemetery in Edwardsville, Illinois.  In Illinois, a service will be held on September 22 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 360 E. Broadway, Sparta, at 10:30 a.m., followed by a Memorial Tribute at 2:30 p.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery in Edwardsville.  All who would like to participate are welcome to attend either or both ceremonies.  Please come and share your memories.  For more information, please contact his sister Gloria by email at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thumper Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Starts at 10:30 am (Pacific time)

Westminister Presbyterian Church

360 E Broadway St, Sparta, IL 62286

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Tribute

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Starts at 2:30 pm (Pacific time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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