East Dundee’s David Smith remembered as leader and friend
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media October 23, 2013 2:34PM
Updated: November 25, 2013 1:12PM
A great man. A great friend. A great leader.
These are the words many use to describe East Dundee’s former police chief and village administrator David Smith, 64, who died Monday after a brief battle with cancer.
His entire professional career was spent in public service and safety. He was the East Dundee police chief from 1977 to 1986, before taking the helm as the first village administrator until 1999. From 2000 to 2008, Smith served as the director of Criminal Justice and the Public Safety Communications programs at Elgin Community College, and from 2008 until the time of his death, as the director of QuadCom 911 Dispatch Center for Dundee Township.
East Dundee Trustee Michael Ruffalo said Smith was instrumental in getting him acclimated to his role on the village board.
“When I was first elected in 1999, Dave was the village manager there at the time. I was such a newbie and Dave was so helpful getting me set up and knowing what the do’s and don’ts were,” he said.
Besides working together at the village level, Ruffalo said, he and Smith also were neighbors.
“He was a great person,” Ruffalo said. “I am so sad over this. I’m sorry to see him go. I’ve lost a friend.”
Former East Dundee Police Chief Joe Pena took over after Smith’s retirement.
“David and I go back to when I first became a police officer in 1974. He was a mentor to me. I kind of grew up under his leadership and as he progressed through the ranks in the police department I was right behind him,” said Pena, who now serves as the village administrator for Channahon.
“When he went from patrolman to sergeant, I went from patrolman to sergeant. Then he became the police chief. After he took over as the village administrator for East Dundee he asked me to stay with the department and become the police chief. We kind of went through that organization and community together.”
East Dundee Officer John Theis was hired by Smith in 1980. He lauds his former boss.
“Dave brought a significant amount of professionalism to the police department,” he said.
For many years, Smith coached and was involved with the Dundee-Crown Junior Chargers football program. He was also active in Scouting Troop No. 32 and was an Eagle Scout himself.
Pena said Smith was “just an all-around wonderful person.”
“He was a very good man. A dedicated dad. Very involved in the community,” Pena said. “He gave everything he had to his community.”
The East Dundee Village Board held a moment of silence to remember Smith at Monday night’s meeting.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Beverly; their sons: David B. Jr. (Elizabeth) and Timothy (Kristin) Smith; his grandson, Logan; his sisters: Pamela (Ken) Huske and Catherine “Cathy“ Smith; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
A gathering celebrating his life will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Miller Funeral Home, 504 W. Main St., West Dundee.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to JourneyCare Hospice, 405 Lake Zurich Road, Barrington IL 60010. To leave an online condolence, visit www.millerfuneralhomedundee.com.