Former part-time Orient resident David E. Smith of Los Angeles died there Nov. 26 after a noteworthy battle with colon cancer. He was 44 years old.
Just 12 days later, on Dec. 8, his father, 69-year-old Barry M. Smith of Orient, died of pancreatic cancer that had been diagnosed just weeks earlier. Mr. Smith and his wife, Rona, had nursed their son through his illness since May, which she said allowed father and son to forge new bonds.
David Smith was born June 11, 1968, in New York City. He attended Trinity and Robert Louis Stevenson and earned a B.A. from Clark University and an M.F.A. in directing from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. There, he was affiliated with the West Side Team in Training, participating in many marathons and Ironman triathlons. Family members said he savored the camaraderie of his teammates and coach. In Orient, they said, he enjoyed windsurfing in Hallocks Bay and biking between Orient and Riverhead. David spent his final months in the care of Dr. Richard Gould at Cedars-Sinai, where he was treated with competence, dignity and compassion, family said.
Born June 2, 1943, Barry Smith earned a degree in American Studies as a dean’s scholar at Queens College and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law. He worked for over 20 years raising funds for affordable housing, resulting in nearly 10,000 apartments nationwide. Family members said he could be a tenacious negotiator, but was also kind and generous. He loved sharing his carefully assembled wine collection with friends and family, they said, and was an articulate man of ideas and opinions that were supported by extensive reading and travel. The Smiths, who became full time residents of Orient six years ago, felt very connected to the community, family said. They enjoyed biking and hiking around the world and took every opportunity to do so.
Surviving are Rona Smith, Barry Smith’s high school sweetheart and wife of 47 years; their daughter, and David’s sister, Dr. Letty Smith of Orient; and David’s beloved dog, Pluto.
A memorial service for David Smith was held Dec. 1 at Sloan-Kettering in New York City so his father could attend. A service for Barry Smith took place Dec. 9 at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue.