Obituary Details

Donald Clark Sminkey

February 2, 1934 - June 1, 2019

Birthplace & Residence

Information withheld per family request

Viewing

Information withheld per family request

Mass

Location:
St. Luke the Evangelist R.C. Church
Date:
Friday, June 14, 2019
Service Time:
11:00 AM

Cemetery

Information withheld per family request

Notes

Donald Clark Sminkey, 85, of Raleigh, NC died on June 1, 2019 at Sunrise of North Hills. He was born in Camden, NJ on February 2, 1934, son of the late Loys and Dorothy Sminkey.

Don went to school at Haddon Heights High School, NJ. After graduating from high school, he worked as an Electronic Technician at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, while also attending evening school at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA. He was drafted into the army in December 1956 and spent two years at Fort Monmouth, NJ as an Electronic Instructor. Following his discharge in 1958 he worked as an electronic technician at RCA in Moorestown, NJ. He completed his education at LaSalle Evening School and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Electronic Engineering in 1964. Following his graduation, he was employed by the National Security Agency, Fort Meade, MD, where he worked until his retirement in 1995.

Don was a gifted musician playing the ukulele, recorder, bass guitar, piano and of course, his beloved harmonica, which he played even in his last week of life. His grandkids particularly loved his jazzy harmonica endings, even to songs like Amazing Grace. There are many memories of him breaking out into a cool bass guitar riff from a Genesis or Fleetwood Mac song. He sang in the church choir for a number of years and was particularly proud of his time in the New Jersey State Chorus. He enjoyed listening to music as much as performing it. He and his wife, Tamah, enjoyed several concerts together over the years. One of his particular favorites was an organ concert.

He was also a talented magician who entertained his family, friends and customers for over 60 years. Eventually he started what would become the family business, Clown Capers. Never doing anything half heartedly, he immediately began studying his new found passion, clowning, and Don the Clown was born. Eventually others in the family would join, including Jo-Jo, Pinky, Freckles and, of course, Dingbat (his wife). Grandkids and friends were always entertained with his magic tricks. After many years he shed the clown costume and performed as Don the Wacky Wizard. His love of children was always evident at his performances.

Don and Tamah took many special vacations together, including a favorite trip to California to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Their family vacations also created numerous special memories for the kids. Early on there were trips to West Virginia parks, most often Cacapon, where cousins often joined the family for adventures. Beaches were not a favorite for Don, but that did not stop him and Tamah from taking the family to Ocean City, NJ a number of times. Later as the kids got older the vacations extended to include the grandkids. Wonderful memories were made at Disney World, Daytona Beach, Lake Lure, Pigeon Forge and the Glade.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Robert and William.

Don is survived by his wife Tamah of 58 years, and five children, John (Maureen) of Crofton, MD, Takuma (Yoko) of Okinawa, Japan, Mark (Kimberly) of Raleigh, NC), Mary Jo Sminkey of Wake Forest, NC and Eileen Ekey (James) of Indian Trail, NC. Nine Grandchildren, Zachery Sminkey, Jack Sminkey, Jamie Sminkey, Hannah Sminkey, Max Sminkey, Jenna Sminkey, Alex Sminkey and Kyle and Jared Ekey. There are three great-grandchildren, Camden Bingham, Charleigh Bingham and Zoe Lee Sminkey.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 11am on Friday, June 14, 2019 at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, 12333 Bayleaf Church Road, Raleigh, NC 27614. Following Mass urn will be placed in the church Columbarium. Family and friends are invited to attend a luncheon immediately following the service in the parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, family request donations to be made in memory of Don to the Dementia Alliance of North Carolina (formerly Alzheimer’s of North Carolina) www.DementiaNC.org or Transitions Life Care (Hospice Care) www.transitionslifecare.org
Posted by:
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Posted on:
June 11, 2019
Memories Album: Don the Wacky Wizard
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: Don the Wacky Wizard
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: Play PingPong
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: Love those Great-Grandkids!
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: Teaching Piano
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: Don's Famous Napkin Mouse
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: The Piano Man
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: Don the Clown
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: The Music Lover
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June 11, 2019
Memories Album: Christmas Surprise!
Posted by:
Tamah M Sminkey
Posted on:
July 14, 2019
Thank you for your condolences. It was indeed a surprise and pleasure to hear from you. I would enjoy hearing about the Windisch family and how everyone is doing. You can contact me at my email: tamahsminkey@gmail.com Oh, how I remember all the wonderful times with Willie, Edith and family. You have always been special to all of us. Love, Tamah
Posted by:
Frank Windisch
Posted on:
July 9, 2019
Dear Tamah, dear family Sminkey.
We are very sad, to read about Don‘s passing. We talked today about this very nice time in your house in bowie and tried to find you in Internet. It was interesting to read about your family members wherever they are, but we were shocked about, what happened on june 1. Our thoughts are with you.
The Windisch Family from Germany
Posted by:
Peter Egler
Posted on:
June 10, 2019
To Mrs. Sminkey, Paul, Mark, and the rest of the Sminkey family: I am very sad to hear of Mr. Sminkey's passing. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Love always, Peter Egler
Posted by:
Franklin B. Myers
Posted on:
June 6, 2019
We extend our sincere condolences to the family of a special husband and father! May you find peace and comfort in the days to come.

Frank and Norma Myers
Teamsters Local 67,730 and
Teamsters Joint Council 55
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Viewing

Unknown Location

Mass

St. Luke the Evangelist R.C. Church
12333 Bayleaf Church Road
Raleigh, NC 27614

Cemetery

Unknown Location