Richard Daniel Smith was born on May 1st, 1927 in South Bethlehem, PA, fifth of the seven children of Oscar O. Smith and Beatrice M. Honadle, and passed away on Oct 21st, 2019 in Manteno, IL. He served in the WW2 US Army in Germany, and then received his bachelor’s degree and worked in ceramics engineering in the US and throughout east Asia into the 1960s. In 1963, he began his career in library science and paper preservation. During his PhD at the University of Chicago, he developed nonaqueous, mass production methods for paper preservation through deacidification, which were implemented in libraries in the United States and Canada. Through his business, Wei T'o Associates Inc., he produced consumer sprays for deacidification, and manufactured equipment for nondestructive conservation operations. His preservation processes and products have been applied by conservators around the world to highly valuable, originals and copies of rare books, documents and works of art such as the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation. Through much of this time he taught at the University of Chicago and University of Washington, trained other conservators, and produced academic research. He continued to produce novel processes and contribute to research into his final years. Richard was admired for his intelligence, wisdom, optimism, worldly-travels and perseverance. Throughout his life, he enjoyed hiking, fishing, gardening, photography and genealogy. He was a long-time member of the Colorado Mountain and Rotary Clubs. With members of his extended family, he proudly produced a family tree spanning many generations and hundreds of years. He was married twice and is survived by his son, Richard Daniel Smith, Jr.
Family and friends will gather for a memorial visitation on Wednesday, at Lain-Sullivan Funeral Home 50 Westwood Drive, Park Forest, IL 60466 from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Interment is private at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
For information or to express your memories visit our online guest book at www.lain-sullivan.com or 708-747-3700
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