Connecting Neighbors: Don & Deanna Smellie

Deanna and Don Smellie have always been each other’s true north—Don leading the way with Deanna by his side.  Unfortunately life has taken a turn and Deanna has stepped forward to shoulder the pain of watching her gifted husband fade into that disease called Alzheimer’s.

The Smellies came to the valley in 1968 after Don and his friend got their doctorate degrees from Indiana University and were both hired at USU.  Together they were responsible for founding the Department of Instructional Technology.  Don eventually became head of that department.

Gifted with a brilliant mind and great leadership abilities, Don had many other talents that took him above and beyond his work at USU. He shared his talents in many ways in the community. His passion for service and skiing led him to join the ski patrol at Beaver Mountain. A few years later, Deanna decided she also wanted to be part of the patrol rather than sit on the sidelines. Don and Deanna were on the ski patrol for a combined 47 years.

Don also had a passion for old cars. When he found an old “junk” 1929 Dodge Victory 6 Sports Sedan in his brother’s field, he asked to have it and his brother agreed. Don hauled it home and eventually restored it. Many contests and car shows later found the Dodge Victory 6 at the top, along with some of the other very best entries.

Because of the disease that has stolen so much from him, Don can no longer share in those past memories or in much of life today; however, Deanna remembers and has gracefully and lovingly taken over the responsibility of being Don’s caregiver, even as she fights her own physical ailments. They now share a small apartment at Legacy Memory Unit in Logan. Deanna holds onto the memories of a good life with her dear husband, and without a doubt, those memories are also tucked away deep in Don’s gifted mind and loving heart.

If you’d like to contact Deanna, please email Carol Foht at [email protected].

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