David James Smith passed away unexpectedly at his home on January 14, 2020. He was 76 years old. Home town born and bred, he graduated Shawnee-Mission North (’61) and earned a degree from UMKC. Raised on hard work from a newspaper distribution family, David was a life-long Kansas City resident and tremendously active in his community. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, golf and many other activities. He was an avid sports fan, having spent several years working in the marketing department of the Kansas City Chiefs professional football club. After a short time at CDS…in 1989, David joined Forrest T. Jones & Company (FTJ) and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company (FSL). David quickly rose up the ranks at FTJ, becoming director of marketing in 1991, then assistant vice president of marketing services in 1993. In 1997, he was promoted to vice president and assumed senior management responsibilities for FTJ’s Property and Casualty Division. In 2000, David was named senior vice president and chief marketing officer for FSL and joined the FSL board of directors. He continued to provide similar leadership for FTJ. During his career, Smith was active in professional organizations including AIPAGIA, PIMA and Kansas City’s Mercury Club. He retired from full-time duties at FTJ/FSL in 2012 but remained involved as a part-time executive until 2018. He served on the board of directors at FSL until his death. “Dave Smith was a fixture at FTJ and FSL for 30 years,” said Richard F. Jones, president of both companies. “He was an especially talented executive with an entrepreneurial flair…. On a personal note, Dave was also a great friend.” Some of David’s proudest accomplishments included his membership at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church; his service in the U.S. Coast Guard; and of course, his Master Angler designation in Manitoba, Canada. He will be remembered for his booming voice; famous sayings; whiskey sours; accompanying his grandson to his first job interview; attendance at lacrosse games; sleepovers in the living room; knuckles and rides home from school; and dominion over his leather chair. He is survived by his wife Margaret (Sprague) Smith; daughters Michaela Hesser and Jessica Lance; their husbands Andy Hesser and Joel Lance; five grandchildren: Tyler, James, Jason, John and Tristan; and many other beloved family and friends. There are not enough words to describe how much we all loved him. Services will be held at St. Michael’s, 6630 Nall Ave., in Mission, Kansas on February 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm, with a reception immediately thereafter. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to: the St. Michael’s Foundation or St. Labre Indian School, 1000 Tongue River Rd., Ashland, Montana 59003.
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