David M. Smith, Baptist layman and philanthropist, died Nov. 19 in Houston. He was 85. He was born June 7, 1932, to Forrest Moseley Smith and Harriet Lapham Heermans Smith in El Paso. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas, but he insisted his real education occurred at U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Ga., where he graduated as a first lieutenant. After he moved to Houston, he met Charis Jeanne Wedgeworth, and they married Dec. 28, 1961. He founded and managed Chemical Exchange Industries and Texmark Chemicals, where he was chairman emeritus. He also pursued multiple other business and manufacturing interests, including bell making. For many years, he donated church bells to congregations along the Rio Grande in support of Texas Baptists’ River Ministry. He was elected in 2007 to the board of governors for the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, where he established the Dilday Chair of Philosophy of Religion in honor of Russell Dilday. He also served on the board of Texans Against Gambling and contributed both time and financial resources to multiple other causes. He was a longtime member of South Main Baptist Church in Houston. He was preceded in death by his brother, Forrest “Buddy” Moseley Smith Jr. He is survived by his wife; sons David Madison Smith Jr. and Douglas Hope Smith; daughter, Sarah Lilyan Smith Ragsdale; two granddaughters; and brother Paul “Bim” Heermans Smith.
Obituary: David M. Smith
December 11, 2017