David Lesley Smith passed away early in the morning of Jan. 15. He was born Feb. 19, 1936, near Pagosa Springs, Colo., to Clifford Oren Smith and Jeannetta Mendel Coleman. He was born in a little house owned by the Cordova family just past the stockyards that were located about a mile south of the middle of town (very near the hill behind the current high school and the radio station). He was the youngest of six children.
David lived nearly all of his life in Pagosa, only leaving a few times to find work as a young man. He worked for CDOT two different times, the first time from about 1961 till 1967. He and his young family lived for a time on Wolf Creek at Highway Camp that is now the upper run-away ramp for trucks that have lost their brakes coming off the mountain. The second time, he worked for several years (through most of the ‘80s and ‘90s) as an extra plowing snow on the pass. In 1967, he bought a ready-mix plant from Milt Wiley that was located on Snowball Road (2nd Street) and named it Pagosa Ready Mix. He provided concrete for the original elementary school, the current Forest Service building, the original Pagosa Lodge and restaurant, the original Eaton sales office and many other area buildings and homes. He sold the ready-mix business in the early ‘70s and worked at the sawmill before buying a backhoe. He spent the next 30-plus years running his backhoe and other equipment. From about 2008 until 2020, you could find him at Bob’s LP filling propane bottles and helping the girls in the office when he finally retired due to ongoing health problems.
David married Donnie Avery on Jan. 26, 1959. They had two children and raised Donnie’s niece. He was preceded in rest by his parents, sisters Alicia and Rose, and brother MO, his wife Donnie, and grandson James Daniel Shrum. Surviving him are his brother, Richard, of Durango, Colo.; sister Esther, of Wilmington, Mass.; daughter Debbie (Clay) Fultz, of Pagosa Springs; son Donald, of Pagosa Springs; and niece Carol Redmon, of Ozark, Ark.; granddaughters Amber (Jed) Bailey, of Bayfield, Colo.; Malinda (Keegan) Burnett, of Pagosa Springs; and Carrie Shrum, of Arkansas; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Cremation has taken place and services are pending at a later date.