January 20, 2021
Minocqua, WI - Desmond Craig Patzwald Smith Jr., infamous for his dry humor and strong handshake, died on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Des, the older brother to the great Uncle Dean, was born in Milwaukee in 1947 to parents Desmond and Eleanore (Patzwald) Smith. He grew up in Wauwatosa at the tail-end of the "Leave it to Beaver" generation, surrounded by a strong community with many good and healthy ways to keep busy. During his college years at Stevens Point, Des played football, joined the Sig Eps fraternity, and later played guitar in a band, The Chosen Few.
In life, Des wore many hats, figuratively, but also literally to hide his bald head. Highlights include flying planes at the Stevens Point airport for beer money, working on tour for Willie Nelson for a few years, visiting Telluride often, and later becoming a beloved substitute staff member at the Lac Du Flambeau School. His personality did not sit well with a 9-to-5. Des's 20 years in Watertown were spent raising his youngest three children with his then wife, Deenie. Both enjoyed that and the community very much.
Des is survived by five children, whom he considered to be the foundation of his life. When reflecting, he called raising them the greatest privilege he had. Jennifer (Kelly), Jessica (Kerry), Des the Third, Desiree, and Danielle all knew his quirks, mainly his capability to tell long-winded stories or share unsolicited advice. They love him dearly. Des cherished his role as a grandfather to Katherine, Jaelyn, Kenzie, and Parker. Des is also survived by an incredible number of close friends, who cannot be named for fear of missing somebody. Most of them also love him dearly.
Des was not afraid to die. He was thrilled with the life he had and is excited for the adventure ahead. He fought like a rabid dog to get more life. But in the end, he took one punch too many. His wish to his family and friends is simple - take your time and enjoy the rest of your ride before joining him in the journey ahead.
His family is overwhelmed by the support that they have received. He did not want any of his friends to join him yet, which is why his celebration will be held virtually for an hour on Friday, February 5th at 5pm CT. Please contact email@example.com if interested in attending or speaking. In lieu of flowers, he asks that you do something nice for somebody else unexpectedly, and without explanation.
Above all, Des was gentle and kind. He will be missed by his family and friends. We love you, Dad.