It is with great sorrow and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Denton J. Smith age 81 after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Denton was born on August 13, 1941 to Ruth (Parks) and Raymond Smith in Norwalk, CT. Denton attended local schools and graduated from Norwalk High School in 1959. He entered the Navy in 1961 and became a nuclear technician serving aboard the USS Dixie. He always said it was his honor to serve, proudly sharing his love of country, the United States Navy, and his fellow veterans. After his service, Denton was a lifelong member of Lee VFW Post 893.
After moving home to Connecticut, Denton met and married the love of his life Paula (Trudel) on June 21, 1980, where they began a united and loving journey of 42 years. Their union was the true representation of two people finding their counterpart in the world. Denton would announce to anyone who would listen that his beautiful wife Paula was the greatest thing that ever happened to him. The two relocated to Lee, Massachusetts in 1986 where they raised their children and grandchildren.
Denton worked as Head Custodian at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School. He immersed himself into the work there, serving as a trusted mentor to the student body many times over. He also became class advisor to two separate classes. The students loved him, spending many laughter filled lunches in his office. The school meant a great deal to Denton, just as he meant a great deal to the school. His uncanny ability to make everyone feel loved, heard, and extraordinary was a gift to the world, one the students of Lenox Memorial Middle and High surely benefited from.
Denton leaves his daughters: Kimberly (Smith) Lagerwall of Lanesborough, Kyle Marie (Christman) DeSantis and her husband Craig, of Tyringham, and Regan (Smith) Tyer and her fiancé Joseph Carlotto, of Lee; and his son, Arthur Christman III and his wife, Monika, of Jefferson, Maryland. In addition, he is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Ronald and Janice Smith.
Denton’s grandchildren were the center of his life. He spent as much time as he could with all of them, bestowing on them life lessons of kindness, gentleness, and demonstrating an infallible moral compass. He will be sorely missed leaving an incredible legacy that cannot be replaced. He leaves behind Zachary DeSantis and his fiancée Madison Sauls, Madison DeSantis, Mikayla Grajales and her husband Benjamin, Kaley Christman, Victoria Christman, Devin Lagerwall, Meghan Lagerwall, Brayden Tyer, Dylan Tyer, and his great-granddaughter Charlotte Grajales.
Besides his parents, Denton is predeceased by his brother, Gerald Smith.
Denton’s legacy will live on through his family and with those whose lives he touched. We will remember him with heavy hearts today, but will honor him with laughter, joy, kindness, humility, and love as he would want.
A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, April 28, 11 AM at St. Mary’s Church in Lee. Calling hours will be held, Thursday, April 27, from 4 to 6 PM at the Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main St., Lee, MA 01238.
In lieu of flowers, please mail checks made out to either the Visiting Angels of the Berkshires or Hospice Care in the Berkshires in care of Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main St., Lee, MA 01238.
Hospice Care in the Berkshires
C/O Kelly Funeral Home 3 Main St., Lee MA 01238
Visiting Angels of the Berkshires
c/o Kelly Funeral Home 3 Main Street, Lee MA 01238