David Neal Smith, age 87, died January 1, 2019 at Balmoral Care Center, Lake Forest, Ill. Neal, as he was known to his family and friends, was born on June 10, 1931 in St. Louis, Mo. to David William and Helen Gladys (Canfield) Smith.
After earning a bachelor of music education degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1953 and a master, of sacred music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1955, he worked for the next 58 years as an organist and choir director at churches in Arkansas, Mississippi, Indiana and Glen Ellyn, Ill. During this time he was active in local chapters of the American Guild of Organists. He was consecrated as a Diaconal Minster of Music in the Northern Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, and from 1978 to 1981 served as secretary of the conference’s Board of Diaconal Ministry.
Neal moved to Glen Ellyn in 2003, where he remained active in church and community activities, and as a volunteer at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. In 2018 he was recognized by the hospital for performing more than 2200 hours of volunteer service.
Neal’s wife Elaine (Spires) died in 1998 after 44 years of marriage. He is survived by three children and their spouses, Jim (Kim Stevens), Mindy (Walter Winkel III) and Brian (Parvaneh Shidnia), and six grandchildren.
The family will greet friends at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Gary United Methodist Church, 224 N. Main Street, Wheaton, Ill. Memorial service will follow at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Neal’s name to the American Guild of Organists Endowment Fund, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1260, New York, N.Y. 10115.