June 21, 1939 ~ November 18, 2019

Born in: Yankton, South Dakota
Resided in: Littleton, Colorado

Born in Yankton, S.D., Lindsay lived a long, rewarding life. Well, until recently. Two months to the day after his 80th birthday, he was diagnosed with liver cancer, which is how he eventually ended up in this obituary section. Enough about that.

Lindsay is survived by his wonderful family: Donna, loving wife of 52 years; four children, son Bradley (wife Kimberly), and daughters Debra (husband Pat), and twin daughters Jennifer (husband Christopher) and Kimberly (husband Christopher) – I told you they were twins, right? He treasured his five grandchildren: Kendall, Thea, Carey Ella, Levi, and Loretta.

He was predeceased by his father, Arthur; mother, Loretta; younger brother, Curtis; several magic rabbits, and beloved dogs Nikki and Seiko. He begrudgingly went to his grave wanting one more dog.

He grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, and is a graduate of Marshall University, Huntington, W. Va., with a BA in journalism.

In April 1963 en route to Singapore aboard the guided missile cruiser USS PROVIDENCE (CLG-6), Lindsay participated in the U.S. Navy’s “Crossing the Line” ceremony, an infamous day-long event signifying the crossing of the Equator. Those who have never crossed are known as “Pollywogs.” Those who “survive” become “Shellbacks.” Lindsay is a Shellback.

In the summer of 1964, Lindsay climbed to the summit of Mt. Fuji in Japan. He slept overnight in a hut about three-fourths of the way to the top. The height? 12,365 feet. It was an eight-hour climb up, a four-hour descent coming back down. (It’s all volcanic ash, you know.)

In the first five years after they were married in October 1967, Lindsay and Donna moved five times involving three interstate moves: Colorado, Idaho, and Arizona. Surprisingly, Donna stayed with him through all of this.

On a trip to Hawaii in 1995 to celebrate Donna’s 50th birthday, Lindsay and Donna were on a deep-sea fishing expedition off the coast of Maui. Lindsay caught and hauled in a tuna. It would have easily filled two cans.

Lindsay had several favorite movies, which he quoted often. Those movies include The Wizard of Oz, with Judy Garland (“No you can’t see the Wizard, not no how, not no way.”); Stripes, with Bill Murray (“Lighten up, Francis.”); and Road House, with Patrick Swayze (“You don’t look so tough to me.” “Opinions vary.”).

His most common phrase was “Dammit Donna!”, which will perhaps be his longest running joke. He maintained his sense of humor to the very end, using his legendary “squeaker” to prank the doctors and nurses. He liked to say his tombstone would read: “I told you I was sick.” Clearly he was a man of his word.

Services will be held on Friday, December 6th at 1 PM at Horan & McConaty’s South Metro/Centennial location (5303 E. County Line Road), with a reception featuring light refreshments to follow. Prior to the service Lindsay will be laid to rest with military honors in a private ceremony at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Lindsay to the American Cancer Society or to the scholarship fund for the Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 1071, Check should be made to Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1071, memo section to say scholarship fund. Additional details below.


Memorial Service: December 6, 2019 1:00 pm

Horan & McConaty - South Metro/Centennial
5303 E County Line Rd
Centennial, CO 80122

Room: Family Chapel

Reception: December 6, 2019 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Horan & McConaty - South Metro/Centennial
5303 E County Line Rd
Centennial, CO 80122

Room: Reception Hall

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The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Lindsay E. Smith's name.

American Cancer Society

P.O. Box 22478
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73123

Visit the website

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1071

PO Box 281023
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

Memories Timeline


  1. I met Lindsay in late June at the S.A.M. Chicago Celebration; we shared lunch and later, an Uber. We discussed writing, editing, and life – he said he was grateful for the chance to be involved in M-U-M. I didn’t get a chance to experience the full breadth of his humor, but those encounters gave me insight into a deeply humble and often self-deprecating man who spread light to those he met. My deepest condolences to his family, and especially his wife, Donna.

  2. I met Lindsay in late June at the S.A.M. Chicago Celebration; we shared lunch and later, an Uber. We discussed writing, editing, and life – he said he was grateful for the chance to be involved in M-U-M. I didn’t get a chance to experience the full breadth of his humor, but those encounters made me smile and gave me insight into a humble and often self-deprecating man. My deepest condolences to his family, and especially his wife, Donna.

  3. So sorry for your loss. Lindsay had the cubicle over the wall from us for many years at Mountain Bell. He was a good friend. We always intended to look him up. A lesson learned about procrastination. Our condolences to Donna and the rest of the family. ~ Sandy and John Nance

  4. Like several other people, Thelma and I met Lindsay at Hank Lee’s magic convention many years ago. We became instant friends and kept that friendship alive for all these years. We would occasionally see each other at magic conventions, but we also shared emails when we could. I remember that I always had to start off my emails with an apology for not writing sooner. He was a wonderful friend and we will truly miss him.

  5. The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 250, The Presto-Digitators, Fort Collins, CO wish to express our condolences to the Family of Lindsay Smith. Lindsay was a member of IBM Ring 250, and he supported and participated in many of our activities, especially Magic in the Rockies conventions.

    Ed Hurtubis
    IBM Ring 250, The Presto-Digitators
    Ed Hurtubis, Fort Collins, CO

  6. Donna and family,
    I am so sorry for your loss and to hear of Lindsay’s passing. Our friendship began at a Magic Collectors Convention (most likely in Chicago)years ago and as with so many others, the attraction and warmth of his personality was instantaneous and all embracing–and we have kept in touch exchanging emails (aka letters) and trading books ever since–and occasionally we would even see each other again at a magic event. I am glad I was able to spend some with Lindsay in person over lunch just a few months ago when we were working in the Denver area. I know that time will heal the hurt, but never fill the void of his humor, presence and personality. Know that Jobeth and I are thinking of you in your sorrow and wishing you strength in the days ahead. Our deepest sympathy.

    Dan ad Jobeth Bradbury, Kansas City, MO

  7. So many fond memories of both our families. Cherry Christmas wreath, Fudge, Coors and Beer Bread come to mind when thinking of our indulgences.. And of course Magic. You performed at one of our daughter’s birthday celebrations, Susanna. Your sense of humor was always present. Many years have passed but good times and friends never forgotten. You will be missed by all whom you touched in so many ways. Love to all,
    Joan & Bill

  8. This news just breaks my heart. Although I’ve only had the pleasure of knowing Lindsay for about a year, I found him to be one of the kindest and most generous guys I’ve ever met in magic. He knew my collecting interests and I would oftentimes find a surprise in the mail from him. Lindsay had a great sense of humor, and was always willing to help out whenever needed (he certainly helped me with a little project, which I appreciated very much!). Our magic world has truly lost an irreplaceable gem… and it just won’t be the same. My deepest condolences to Donna and his entire family.

  9. Just like Lindsay, I like to write, and I could easily write a book about him. I tried to sneak in a cover story about him for the MUM Magazine, and he didn’t think he was worthy of such an honor. I think you may find an email he sent me at the end of this short tribute interesting. It is where I was gathering information, surreptitiously, for an article about him.

    I’ve known Lindsay for decades and in addition to being a friend, I see him as family. He was always there for me, willing to listen and offer advice. Whenever we met, he always brought a trinket to share; it could be a magic trick, an article of interest, or a piece of ephemera. As a proofreader to the MUM he’d clue me in on who the cover story was and upcoming articles of interest to me.
    I drove him crazy when we would meet for lunch. I’d always tell the host or hostess that I’m having lunch with my Dad, and always got seated with him. Rich Nakata usually joined us and said that he was my half-brother – half Japanese and half German. After several years of this, Lindsay just gave in and accepted it.

    He proofread all but one of my books, each time finding less and less errors, because he took the time to explain where my writing went south. Yesterday I completed another book; my Mom’s life story. I felt as if Lindsay was standing over my shoulder as I made the final adjustments and transmitted it to the publisher.

    I knew of his ailment a few months ago, and he swore me to secrecy. Not thinking one day I offered him tickets to the beer festival at the Wings Museum. His comment was priceless, “Chris, that’s what got me into this situation in the first place.” I felt bad, but then I laughed. Lindsay had his way about stuff like that.

    He loved reading the obituaries, and he showed me his several years ago. He would update it once a year and made sure his son Brad knew where to find the latest copy. If you didn’t catch the obit that appeared in the Sunday Post, his sense of humor was spot on when he wrote, “Since obituaries in The Denver Post are outrageously expensive, if you’d like to know more about Lindsay’s life – some of it may be interesting – please go to HoranCares.com.” And I did…

    I’m going to miss you my friend – Dad…

    Here’s what he wrote me about a year ago:

    Chris –
    Although most of what I’m doing these days involves copy editing and proofreading (like this is my eighth year of doing that for M-U-M,) and I proofread two books that John Moehring wrote, I would much prefer to be known as a writer.
    In addition to the magic and fraud books I’ve written with Bruce and Earl that you know about, most of my 25-year career with Mountain Bell and U S West involved writing. For example, I wrote almost a dozen annual reports for Mountain Bell (plus a bunch of quarterly reports) and, during Bob Timothy’s last year as president of the company, I was his executive speechwriter. I wrote every speech he delivered during that year. Then there were employee newspapers and magazines, management newsletters, white papers and more.
    I left a lot of stuff out (including my Navy work). One article ended up as the cover story on Stars & Stripes when I wrote about the Marines on our ship walking a mile around our ship’s deck as we were crossing the equator. I was also the managing editor of a wireless communications trade publication (out of Washington, D.C.) for 18 months, and the editor of the national publication, Profiles in Healthcare Marketing, for a year. There’s more but it’s mostly history. And mostly boring. Mostly you should remember that I wrote a cover story on you for M-U-M. Not boring.

  10. The Mile High Magicians, S.A.M Assembly 37 and I.B.M. Ring 131 express our deepest condolences to the Family of Lifetime Member Lindsay Smith. Lindsay was a member since 1959 and a strong leader and mentor for the club. He was president in 1967 and 2006 and served in other offices frequently notably as an editor where he used his amazing writing skills to create the Abracatabloid both in physical postal mailing and digital emailing forms during his term and also teaching mentor secretaries new processes. The MHMS is deeply saddened by Lindsay’s passing… to say the VERY least.

  11. Lindsay was a mentor to me in many ways but I remember him the most for teaching me to care about what I write and consider the benefit and consequences of how it may be interpreted by the reader. At Mile High Magician events he always had a smile on his face, was happy to offer advice when asked, and gave much of himself to the club. His presence in the magic community around the world will be missed, his gifted writing was always great to see in the magic publications. But mostly, I will miss my friend.

  12. Dear wonderful family. I scan the obituaries and loved reading Lindsay’s. I followed your instructions to read more. He sounds like a magical man.
    Hugs to all of you during this sad time.

  13. I am so sorry to hear of Lindsay’s passing. I had a feeling something was amiss when an email I sent him a couple of weeks ago went unanswered.
    I met Lindsay when he was at Mountain Bell. I was in PR at Public Service at the time. We utility PR people had a kind of brotherhood. Years later, I re-connected with Lindsay through my book store, Printed Page Bookshop. Lindsay would come in and browse, and we would reminisce. Whenever I found a book about magic, I’d let Lindsay know. I never knew that he was a practiced magician; I just knew that when he came in, he could make an hour disappear. He was a warm and friendly man. (And boy, did he know grammar!)
    Please know that my heart goes out to the family, and that you have my deepest sympathy.

  14. My heart is so very saddened to lose such a dear friend. Lindsay was one of a kind: A brilliant sculptor of words, a true gentleman, a kind-hearted person, a strong human being, and so much more. He changed my life with the article he wrote in M.U.M. magazine for magicians, and for this I remain forever honored and beyond grateful.

    To Donna and family, I am so deeply sorry for your heartbreaking loss. Lindsay was a very good man and made a huge difference in the lives of so many people. Lindsay made this world a much better place and humanity is much poorer without him here. I pray for your peace and healing of hearts.

    Lindsay, you and I became such good friends that it is impossible to say “good-bye”, so I will just say “see you later, my friend”. There were so many stories left to share, so much more magic left to discuss, so many more laughs to be had. My husband and little daughter will always tell your stories and remember you in a good way. By the way, the Dream Catcher you gave Morning Star hangs over her crib. She awoke on the morning you passed with the Dream Catcher in her hand. I am not sure how that happened. Magic? Perhaps.

    So here I sit and try to sum up a friendship in four paragraphs. Knowing you was truly magical, but what do we do with this huge abyss left in our magic community? These shoes simply can never be filled. Lindsay, thank you for your friendship. I pray your kind Spirit walks gently through the Next World with much strength, much happiness, and blissful peace. It is said that the stars are beyond beautiful on this Journey. I pray your Ancestors greet you with open arms. You are sorely missed here on Earth and you will always be remembered in a good way.
    Forever Hugs, My friend,

  15. Jeff and I are completely saddened by the passing of Lindsay. We always talked to him when we saw him at the magic meetings. He was always interested in what our two boys were up to. He was just a genuinely nice person, very talented.
    He would e-mail us personally to say how much he enjoyed our performance and halloween goodies. It really ment alot to me that he would take time to acknowledge us. We will miss his smile.

  16. My sincere condolences. What a wonderful obituary. It reflects that sense of humor that carried you both throughout his life. May you cherish those fond memories in your heart.

  17. Lindsay’s personality shows through in this beautifully written obituary. His sense of humor also shows through. Joe and I will truly miss Lindsay at the magic meetings and in the audience at our theatre. We were lucky to be able to spend some time with him at his home in Littleton a few years ago and have enjoyed his puclications as well. We are honored to also call you our friend. He was such a talented, gifted magician and author. The magic world has a huge void without Lindsay Smith. Heaven benefits and we lose a gem.

    Rest in peace. We will always smile when we think of you as you smiled each time we saw you.
    Our deepest condolences to Donna and family.

    Sincerely, Carol and Joe

  18. Dear Donna and Family,
    I am sorry that I will not be able to attend his service tomorrow or the reception. However I wanted you to know, and I am sure that you have heard from his friends, that Lindsay was a good friend to many. We had a long relationship, beginning when I moved to Colorado in the 90s. I valued his sense of humor, his commitment to magic and his enduring support. When I was S.A.M. National President, Lindsay was a trusted advisor who I could bounce ideas off of and get an honest opinion. I truly appreciated his advice and consul as we tried to do new things to improve the Society. The best description of Lindsay was that he was a compeer of the highest order. He did not indulge in the IBM – S.A.M. ‘rivalry’, he was there for the magic and the people. I guess I’ll close with a paraphrase of Lindsay’s own words, “Dammit Donna, I’m really gonna miss him”.


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