Edwin Wouter “Ed” Smith

Edwin Wouter “Ed” Smith

November 30, 1948 - January 20, 2023

Edwin Wouter “Ed” Smith

November 30, 1948 - January 20, 2023


Edwin W. Smith

Edwin “Ed” Wouter Smith, 74, a longtime resident of Mission Viejo, California, passed away surrounded by family on Friday, January 20, 2023.

He is survived by his wife Mary Ann Smith, his children, Brandon Smith, Lindsay Racen; his grandchildren Eleanor Darbysmith, Hendrik Darbysmith, Lennox Darbysmith, Bobbi Racen; daughter-in-law Amanda Darby and son-in-law Robert Racen.

Ed was born the eldest of five children to Hennie and Florentina Smith in Bandung, Indonesia. When he was three, the family was relocated to Holland because they were considered Dutch citizens. It was Ed’s father’s dream to live in the United States. When Ed was twelve, the family immigrated to the United States under the sponsorship of the Methodist Church in Corona, California. Since Dutch was Ed’s first language, he had to learn English. He did this by watching television. In 1967 Ed became a naturalized citizen. That same year he graduated from Corona High School.

Ed honorably served in the Army from 1969 until 1975 in Vietnam and Germany. After this, he obtained his BA degree in Sociology and began his career as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. It was during this time that he met Mary Ann on a blind date. They were married on Valentine’s Day 1981, and had a son, Brandon in 1982 and a daughter, Lindsay in 1985.

After 20 years as a Rehab Counselor, Ed made a career change. He loved computers and decided to learn everything he could about technology. He became an IT Project Manager developing Educational Networks in California. He had a passion for work and for learning. He used to say, “it isn’t work if you love it”. After 20 years in this career, Ed moved to the next stage of life. He did not like the word “retire.” He considered life after a career to be a time to recharge instead. He began an invigorating and impactful time of participating in various volunteer activities including teaching online courses, serving on the Veterans Advisory Committee for AARP and serving his Church in various ministries.

Ed centered his life on God, family, and country. He was a devoted and involved father and a patient husband. He was calm and mild mannered, always optimistic, and hopeful. His positive attitude radiated in everything he did. He was steadfast, dependable, and loyal. He loved to create and come up with innovative ideas. He was a dreamer.

Ed loved to hike with his wife especially in the National Parks. Together they visited over half of the Parks. Ed had traveled extensively in his younger years and preferred to stay home. But wife Mary Ann loved to travel so she often planned adventurous vacations and road trips. Ed especially loved the trip to Bali and Hong Kong. His favorite place to visit was Cedar City, Utah, where Mary Ann’s brother John lives.

Ed did not grow up with American football, so did not embrace it at first. When his children became avid Pittsburgh Steelers Fans, he began watching their favorite team too. This was a legacy handed down to them by their Grandpa John, who was from the Pittsburgh area. Ed went from learning about football to becoming an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan himself. You could see him with the terrible towel on Sundays cheering on his team.

Edwin left us with these words, written by him in his last days, “I wish you all everything you wish for yourself, so always keep your thoughts positive, and always be grateful for what you have while you work on what you want. And remember that life’s events don’t happen to you, life’s trials and tribulations happen for you.”

Edwin was proud to be a Catholic, having converted to the faith in 1997. Funeral Mass will be held at Santiago de Compostela Catholic Church, Lake Forest on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., with interment to follow at Ascension Cemetery, Lake Forest. A Celebration of Life Reception will be held at Lake Mission Viejo Clubhouse from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. All are welcome.

Edwin was devoted to Santiago de Compostela Church having served as a Eucharistic Minister, as the coordinator of the Writing Ministry and the Baptism Ministry. Flowers are beautiful but if you want to honor Ed in another way, contributions to his church at sdccatholic.org would be appreciated.

Funeral Mass

  • Date & Time: February 14, 2023 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: Santiago De Compostela Catholic Church
  • Location: 21682 Lake Forest Dr. Lake Forest, CA 92630 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 951-8599


  • Date & Time: February 14, 2023 (11:30 AM)
  • Venue: Ascension Cemetery
  • Location: 24754 Trabuco Road Lake Forest, CA 92630 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 837-1331

Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: February 14, 2023 (1:00 PM - 3:30 PM)
  • Venue: Lake Mission Viejo Clubhouse
  • Location: 22555 Olympiad Rd. Mission Viejo, CA 92691 - (Get Directions)

Santiago De Compostela Catholic Church

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3 responses to Edwin Wouter “Ed” Smith

  1. Nancy Henderson says:

    I loved Ed from the day I met him at the Department of Rehabilitation. We worked side by side for 5 years. I was so happy for him when he married sweet Mary. I take comfort in thinking he will be holding the gates of heaven for all of us ♥️

  2. Chris Costa says:

    Ed was a great friend, coworker and carpool buddy. My deepest condolences to the Smith family. Ed was a wonderful person.

  3. Jean Szetoo says:

    Ed was a wonderful human being and a great eating buddy. I will miss him!

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