Smith, Richard

SMITH, Richard

Wakefield "Dick"

On Saturday, January 8, 2022, Richard "Dick" Wakefield Smith of Atlanta, GA, loving husband and father, passed away at age 79 after a multi-year battle with Dementia and Parkinsons.

Dick was born on July 4, 1942 in New York City to the late Arthur and Evelyn "Brassler" Smith. As an Independence Day baby, a love for holidays was etched in his DNA, and he never missed an occasion to celebrate. Christmas was his magnum opus, and he was known for decking the Smith home with upwards of 13 theme-decorated trees, making surprise appearances as Santa and performing the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Dick grew up in Malvern on Long Island and ventured south for college to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His future wife, Brenda, was seated behind him at a Tarheels football game. Luckily, he had a full head of hair at the time. They married on June 6, 1964 and then moved to Atlanta where Dick began his career at Prudential Insurance. During the Vietnam War, the young couple moved to Northern Maine where Dick served his country at Loring Air Force Base and honed his love of skiing, a sport he enjoyed until the age of 75.

An historian at heart, Dick was an encyclopedia of facts and world history. He traveled around the world twice and visited over 80 countries throughout his life from portions of the world as varied as Antarctica and Afghanistan. Dick spent his career as an insurance broker and as a real estate investor.

Jovial and gregarious, Dick's laughter would fill a room when he would share stories and jokes in his made-for-radio voice. He and Brenda were consummate hosts to their beloved network of friends built over the years in Atlanta. We will remember his warm grin and his commitment to celebrating the special moments that make life magical.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Brenda Smith, his daughter Julie Luker, son-in-law Bryan Luker and two grandsons Weston and Davis Luker.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 11 a.m. at the Peachtree Presbyterian Church Sanctuary (3434 Roswell Road, 30305). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shepherd Center at, or to a cause close to your heart in Dick's honor.

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