WHITTON and RITCH -Surname Studies and people from the Island of GRAEMSAY, Orkney

David Amos Smeltzer

David Amos Smeltzer

Male 1929 - 2004  (74 years)

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  • Name David Amos Smeltzer 
    Born 21 Nov 1929  Cook, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 15 Oct 2004  Lake Oswego, Clackamas, Oregon, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I19652  Whitton
    Last Modified 16 Oct 2019 

    Father Merrill Smeltzer,   b. 18 Oct 1899, Cando, North Dakota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Mar 1964, Washington, Oregon, USA buried Mountain View Cemetery Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Florence M Swartz,   b. 1902, Indiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jun 1981, Walla Walla, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 15 Jun 1923  Cook, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F8014  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Living 
    Last Modified 16 Oct 2019 
    Family ID F8017  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • at 1930 census at Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
      at 1940 census at Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
      Wayne State University

      SMELTZER, DAVID A. November 21, 1929 - October 15, 2004. David Smeltzer - Professor Emeritus, political science scholar and mentor, computer enthusiast, loving husband and devoted stepfather, passed away at the age of 74 after a short illness, surrounded by his family. He lived with Linda, his wife of 38 years, in Lake Oswego. A devoted teacher, he met his students for classes at Portland State University until the week before his death. Born in Detroit on Nov 21, 1929, the son of Merrill, a World War II veteran and doctor, and Florence Smeltzer, he enjoyed a typically rambunctious childhood. As a young teen, he caddied at the city golf course, ran track, dabbled in photography. He eventually grew to a statuesque 6'3". At the age of 15, a swimming accident from a low diving board in a public pool broke his neck and caused serious spinal cord injury, resulting in several years of major physical rehabilitation. Nevertheless, in spite of the quadriplegia which confined him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, David persevered against numerous physical and institutional barriers to enjoy a lengthy, enormously esteemed professional career and personal life. In 1957, Professor Smeltzer graduated Phi Beta Kappa and number one in his class with a bachelor of arts from Wayne State University. He was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha and the recipient of the Sarasohn Scholarship and the University Scholarship. At that time, prior to the many accommodations legislated today to facilitate accessibility, obtaining a degree in higher education was difficult at best. Innumerable physical obstacles-stairways, curbs, inaccessible classrooms made life as a student extremely challenging. He was one of the few students in wheelchairs enrolled in a university at that time. While this accomplishment was already profound, he continued his pursuit of a master's degree in American national government, American state and local government and political parties at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He completed the degree in 1958 and continued with his doctoral studies. His 400-page thesis, written originally by hand, was on "The Problem of Alternatives in Congressional Decision-making: The Role of Committee Hearings." While he was working on his doctorate at the University of Michigan, he had a Teaching Fellowship and Summer Doctoral Fellowship before receiving his Ph.D. in 1964. Dr. Smeltzer was hired as an assistant professor at Portland State College immediate thereafter and moved with his mother to Portland. Through his academic career he served as Chair of the Political Science Department for seven years, was president of the Northwest Political Science Association and president of the PSU Faculty Senate. He was the PSU representative for the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research and also served on the PSU President's Advisory Council and numerous committees. In 1966 he married Linda, at the same time gaining a stepdaughter, Holly. After teaching summer school, summers were often spent on extensive driving trips around the country to attend political science conventions and visit family and longtime friends. In 1974 Dr. Smeltzer and family spent a sabbatical in Washington, D.C., where he worked with Congressman Lloyd Meeds in the highly-charged post-Watergate period. His boundless curiosity did not cease at politics - he was, throughout his remarkable life, a true Renaissance man. Dr. Smeltzer was a voracious reader, he loved autumn because it was the season for college football, he was an expert in flora and fauna (he could name almost any tree he could see or bird he could hear) and only a few months ago ventured out into the Pacific Ocean with his grandchildren to enjoy whale-watching. Dr. Smeltzer embraced computer technology and the Internet and he quickly mastered the high-tech realm, connecting even more with his many acquaintances - all while researching, reading and exploring. He relished spending hours absorbing Internet radio from around the globe, downloading articles on his wide-ranging set of interests and reading national publications online. He is survived by Linda; Holly Williams and her husband, Bill Minutaglio; grandchildren, Rose and Nicholas Minutaglio; sister, Maryann, and her husband, Hal Deck, their children, Lisa Hallmon, Tim Deck, Lezlie Gruenler and Karin Pringle; and great nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and the many students and colleagues whose lives he touched in his more than 40 years of teaching, mentoring, and serving as a role model for what it means to be courageous and humane. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the David A. Smeltzer Memorial Endowment, c/o PSU Foundation, P.O. Box 243, Portland, OR 97207-0243. A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at University Place at Portland State University, 310 SW Lincoln Street, Portland on Friday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m.