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Roane D. Smothers Passes away at Age 65

Oct. 20, 2021
Category: Obituary

Roane Doran Smothers ’78 passed away peacefully on April 14, 2021 in Goshen, Indiana, after a series of health-related issues from a genetic kidney disease that he hads struggled with most of his adult life. Roane was born in Detroit, Michigan, on October 26, 1955, to Henderson Michael Smothers and Dorothy Ann (McCown) Smothers. He was educated at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School (1974), the University of Wisconsin, (BS geography and sociology, 1978), and Wayne State University (MA urban planning, 1981). He worked as a transportation planner in Saint Paul, Minnesota (1985–87), and in Dayton, Ohio for RTA (1987–94). He later became a city planner for the City of Dayton, mostly involving code enforcement and planning for the city’s historic districts, (1994–2013).

Roane was a heritage preservationist and became president of the Union Literary Institute Preservation Society, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the history of a multiracial settlement of homes, a church, and a school in Longtown, Darke County Ohio, and Randolph County Indiana. The Institute has a National Historic places designation and is represented in the Museum of African American History in Washington, DC. Roane was a passionate preservationist of African American history and his ancestral heritage.

He was known to be personable, kind, generous, having a sense of humor, and being an unwavering leader.

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