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Former Most Creative Award Exchangor Honoree Passes Away

Dale Smith

Dale Smith, one of the most creative exchangors on the planet, has passed away. Smith was a long-time member of Ohio Commercial Real Estate Exchangors and received the Most Creative Exchangor Award in 2010 and 2011.

I could go on about Dale, but Mike Lane, SEC, EMS shared his thoughts in such an eloquent way that I’m going to share them here.

There may not have been an Exchangor more well-known and loved by many. It is with a sad heart that I have to report that Dale Smith had a heart attack and passed away late yesterday. He was doing exactly what he loved. He didn’t suffer and probably had no pain. 

He was preceded in death by a wife, and several brothers and sisters. He is survived by three children and several grandchildren who he had just visited in Ohio the last few weeks. He also leaves his significant life partner Kay, and her daughter Jenny (who he referred to as his bonus daughter). Jenny was with him when he passed.

Dale was passionate about MANY things and many people. He would give anyone the shirt off of his back if they were cold. I could write a book about Dale, and now maybe someday I will be inspired to do just that. 

I was fortunate to have Dale as a friend. Over the last few weeks, we spent a lot of time together. We have had about 4 “projects” going behind the scenes lately, which Dale had taken the lead on since I had been dealing with my mother’s death 3 weeks ago and her decline over the last few months. Dale came to Ohio to see his brother-in-law who was about to pass away, and my mother passed away the day after his brother-in-law. Dale stayed in Ohio at my house until after the funeral.

On July 3rd I went to Kentucky and stayed with Dale. We helped fix a meal for Alex and Noah Rugieri’s family on the 4th of July at one of Dale’s cabins. They had four of Dale’s cabins rented and had about 25 people in those four cabins. Dale was doing what he loved that day as well. 

July 5th I came back to Ohio. Dale drove to Nashville and spent the night and picked up Jenny at the airport the next morning and they drove on to Alabama to look at land with timber and coal….. doing exactly what he loved…. chasing the next deal. The next day on their drive they stopped and it was then that Dale collapsed after getting out of his truck. 

I got my real estate license in August of 1988. I told my broker at the time that I wanted to learn about commercial and investment real estate. He pointed me toward the local exchange meeting that met every Thursday. It was Dale Smith who welcomed me and made me feel comfortable walking into a new room of people doing things they don’t teach you in any real estate school. Thirty-four years ago… and I can’t begin to tell you how many meetings we rode to together after that, how many deals we did together in some form or another, how many referrals we passed back and forth, how many personal property exchanges we made…. and how many good times we shared. I even started calling one of the spare bedrooms in my house “Dale’s room”.

Dale was a member of the Columbus Real Estate Exchangors (CREE) and the Ohio Commercial Realtors Exchange Association (OCREA) which later became OCREE. He was a member of the Kentucky Real Estate Exchangors (KREE). He may have also been a member of the Indiana Real Estate Exchangors (IREX) and the National Council of Exchangors (NCE). NCE has a meeting week after next that we both were registered for, and the last thing I said to Dale was, “See you in Vegas!”

Dale had recently been named a Candidate for Membership in the Society of Exchange Counselors (SEC) and he was very proud of that. 

I could go on and on, but I’ve typed enough. Please forward this on to anyone who I left out, and make any changes that need to be made. Keep Dale’s family and extended family in your thoughts and prayers. 

We lost a friend…….