David Glynn Smith

March 06, 1944 - February 15, 2024


Obituary For David Glynn Smith

David Glynn Smith was born on March 6, 1944 and passed away on February 15, 2024 at the age of 79. He is the son of the late Arthur Glynn Smith and Edna Robinson Smith. Dave is survived by his wife, Judy Rubenstein; his sister, Paula Preston; his daughter, Joanna Smith; his son, James Smith; and his granddaughters, Cushla Smith and Poppy Smith.

Dave was born and raised in Liverpool, England and remained a staunch supporter of the Liverpool football club all his life. He enjoyed playing and coaching English football as well.

Dave went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and received a PhD in Electrochemistry from the University of Edinburgh in 1968. He is a Chartered Chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In 1972, Dave emigrated to New Zealand where he spent most of his career in water quality research for New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). His research included work on heavy metals in the aquatic environment, water quality indexing, optical water quality, and human perception of natural waters. Most notably, he designed and managed the New Zealand National Water Quality Monitoring Network which is still operational today. The design of this network has served as a model for several other monitoring networks worldwide.

In June 1994, while still living in New Zealand, Dave traveled to the United States, where he gave a talk at a conference in the mid-west, followed by some science related business in Newburgh, New York. His flight took him to Newburgh via Boston Airport. Dave and Judy (who lived in New York) met by chance at the airport gate, where they chatted and then wound up sitting next to each other on the little puddle hopper plane. They got together again that evening and the next day, and then (after they spent the next two years visiting each other back and forth across the planet) the universe conspired to get them together permanently.

With the help of a friend who knew of the perfect job going at New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and an immigration attorney, who got Dave his green card as “an alien of extraordinary ability,” he came to live with Judy in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1996, and they indeed lived together happily ever after!

Dave worked with DEP as Section Chief, Information Management and Modeling. He supervised Reservoir and Watershed Modeling, Data Analysis/Reporting, Limnology, Hydrology, and Pathogens Programs, and also led the redesign of DEP’s very complex upstate water quality monitoring network.

After he retired from DEP in 2007, Dave did a variety of consulting work in New Zealand and New York, and worked part-time investigating the possible effects of Climate Change on the New York City water supply. He has over 50 publications in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and he co-authored a text book entitled, “Colour and Clarity of Natural Waters.”

Unfortunately, Dave developed Alzheimer’s in his last years, and in November 2022, Dave and Judy moved to a senior community in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dave was smart, funny, and easy to get along with. He was very much loved and will be very much missed!

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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  • 5 TREES

    Muriel Connell planted 5 trees in memory of David Glynn Smith . - March 01, 2024

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