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Douglas Williamson Smith died on March 11, 2023 in Springfield, VA after a prolonged illness.
Born on December 10, 1956 to Sydney and Dorothy Smith, Doug was raised in Alexandria, VA where he attended Thomas Edison High School.
He spent the summers of his formative years on Long Point Road in Grasonville. It was on Maryland’s marshy shores that Doug discovered his love for the water. Whether fishing, crabbing, water quality monitoring, or just cruising, he was happiest on and around the Chesapeake Bay.
His interest in the Bay reached beyond his hobbies, and he attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA where he studied Oceanography. After moving back to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Doug worked as a researcher at the David Taylor Research Center for the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
During these years, he married and had one daughter, Cara. Doug was not just a father, but a Dad—a role he regarded with honor. They say that the best teachers are those committed to a life of learning, and this held true with Doug. No matter his age, he remained curious and kind, and imprinted a myriad of invaluable lessons not only to his daughter, but to his sister, nephews, nieces, and friends.
He enjoyed a good thunderstorm, a charcoal grill, and a Busch Light—even more so all together. He had a soft spot for wildlife and a propensity to protect, so could often be found wandering around at dusk to untangle dragonflies from spider webs, or other similarly heroic acts. He was an eternal optimist as evidenced by his devotion to the Redskins, and was the type to use words like "stupendous" in everyday conversation.
Doug's loving memory and huge heart lives on through his family and the many comrades, colleagues, classmates, and companions he had over his lifetime.
Doug is survived by his mother, Dorothy Smith of Springfield, VA, his sister Becky Smith of Santa Clarita, CA and his daughter Cara Smith of Centreville, MD. He is predeceased by his father, Sydney Smith.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you pay tribute to Doug by spending some time in nature, learning something new, or calling up a friend. If you'd like to make a donation in his honor, you can do so to http://shorerivers.org.