Lynn R. Smith, 84
Lynn R. Smith, age 84 of Monticello, died Thursday, July 14, 2005 at a nursing home where he had been in long-term care since suffering a stroke six years ago.
A newspaper publisher and the force behind the Great American Smokeout, Smith owned and published the Lester Prairie News and Carver County News, but sold both to purchase the Monticello Times in 1962.
He was the publisher of the Monticello Times when he founded Don’t Smoke Days in Monticello in 1974. That led to the Great American Smokeout, the widely observed November day that has raised awareness of the health hazards of smoking.
Smith spearheaded what he called D-Day (Don’t Smoke Day) Jan. 6, 1974, in Monticello. Three hundred people pledged to stop smoking or using tobacco, and Smith put their names on the front page of his newspaper. Three months later, 9 percent of those people reported that they had quit smoking.
That fall, the Minnesota Lung Association and the American Cancer Society worked with Smith to promote a Minnesota Don’t Smoke Day. Two years later, the Cancer Society took the concept nationwide, and the Great American Smokeout was born.
Smith retired in 1977, when he sold the Monticello Times and Shopper to his son. He continued to write his weekly Ramblings column for the Times’ editorial page until December 1998, when he suffered the stroke.
The Crosby native was a World War II veteran.
Funeral services were Monday, July 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Monticello.
Smith is survived by his wife, Margaret; his children, Donald, of Monticello; Warren, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Norma Smith Olson, of St. Paul; six grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.