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1943 Daniel (Dan) 2023

Daniel (Dan) Griffith Smith

July 16, 1943 — October 20, 2023


Daniel (Dan) Griffith Smith, 80, of Lexington, NC died peacefully at home on October 20, 2023.

A memorial service will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, 419 South Main Street, in Lexington, NC on October 29th at 2:00 p.m. conducted by the Rev Edward Kelaher followed by a private inurnment at the church columbarium.  A reception to greet friends will be held afterward in the church Parish Hall.

Dan was born on July 15, 1943 in Lexington to Eleanor Farmer Smith and Robert Bruce Smith, Sr.  He graduated from Lexington Senior High School in 1961 where he loved playing numerous sports and was captain of the Yellow Jackets football and basketball teams.  Afterward, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1965.  Dan began his career in the family lumber company, GW Smith, and served as the president of Bruel Builders Supply.  Dan’s progressive vision and passion led to the founding of Smith Realty, which was primarily involved in land development and construction.  His dedication and expertise played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Davidson County and beyond through numerous commercial and residential developments.  His crowning achievement was Watership Downs, a 100+ waterfront community situated on High Rock Lake, a testament to his dedication to his craft and his ability to cultivate lasting friendships wherever he went.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Dan was an active and engaged member of the Lexington and Davidson County community, serving on the boards of Davidson County Community College for 8 years, J Smith Young YMCA (serving also as president), Lexington Rotary Club (serving also as president), and 3 Rivers Land Trustees.  He also served on the Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church including a term as Senior Warden.  Dan served as a Davison County Commissioner from 1974 to 1978.  He also is a past president of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce.  He received the inaugural Lexington Citizen of the Year award in 1992 and the J Smith Young YMCA Lifetime Achievement award in 2006.

Before his health limited his mobility, Dan was very active and loved basketball, hiking, sailing, skiing, and jogged countless miles.  He took numerous adventurous trips throughout the world with his brothers, his wife, his children, and his friends, creating abundant memories that will last forever.  He loved spending time with his grandchildren, whether it be at home, in the mountains of Pisgah National Forest, or at the Smith family’s beloved vacation home, Treasure Trove, in Ocean Isle Beach.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother R.B. Smith Jr., and his son Zachary Griffith Smith.  He is survived by his wife of thirty-seven years Sarah Graves Smith; son Daniel Scott Smith and wife Chantal of Greenville, SC and his four grandchildren Claire, Zachary, Frederic, and Sebastien Smith of Greenville; brothers Jerry Smith and wife Aurelia, and Steve Smith and wife Charlotte of Lexington; sister-in-law Martha Ellen Smith of Lexington; brother-in-law Chip Graves and wife Cindy of Bassett, Virginia and numerous nieces and nephews.  Dan was also a loyal and devoted godfather to Will Miller, Robert Smith III, Sarah Stevens, Elizabeth Simpson, Johnny Watson, Stout Watson, and Elizabeth Meade, a testament to his extended family and the deep bonds he forged in life.

Dan was renowned for his kindness, generosity, and indomitable spirit.  He faced adversity with grace and had an undeniably optimistic outlook on life.  His ability to inspire and uplift those around him was a hallmark of his character.

Memorials may be made to the Grace Episcopal Church Columbarium Fund, YMCA, or the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at  


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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