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Melvin Daniel "Dan" Smith

April 25, 1954 ~ February 7, 2022 (age 67)

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Obituary

Mr. Melvin Daniel Smith

Mr. Melvin Daniel Smith went home to be with the Lord, passing away after a courageous battle with complications from COVID-19 for over a month, on February 7, 2022 at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, Colorado with his family by his side. Mr. Smith "Dan" was born on April 25, 1954 in Augusta, Georgia and is the son of the late Herbert Melvin Smith and Margaret Dudley Smith. Dan attended Warrenton High School before graduating from Augusta Prep class of 1972. He will long be remembered by those who knew him for his mischievous antics, sharp wit, athletic prowess, adventurous spirit, and knack with the ladies. Dan graduated Cum Laude from Davidson College in 1976, earning a Bachelor's degree in economics and later graduated from Duke University where he earned a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Finance and Financial Management Services from The Fuqua School of Business in 1978. Dan and his family lived on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for 43 years; he moved to San Jose, California for a few years to sit on the Mineta Transportation Institute before moving back to the South to be close to family. Dan was a dedicated family man, having raised two kids who have become very successful on their own through his love and support. Mr. Daniel Smith of Hilton Head Island, SC, Warrenton, GA, and San Jose, CA leaves his mother Margaret Dudley Smith ("Meme"), his daughter Hannah and her boyfriend Conner of Denver, Colorado, his son Adam, Adam's wife Maile, their children Dylan, Lani, Hailey and Callie of Marblehead, Massachusetts, his brother Steve, Steve's wife Lynn, and their children Scott and Kelly of Edison, New Jersey all to fondly carry on his legacy. Dan was a resident of Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head where he lived with his loving girlfriend, Kathleen Owens.

To know Dan is to know how charismatic, generous and disciplined he was. He was a very kind and lovely person with an enormous heart. During his life, Dan took numerous vacations to Hawaii, Oktoberfest, Paris, the Swiss Alps, the Rockies, the NCAA Final Four, Vancouver, Mexico and the Caribbean on cruises. Dan loved dancing, reading the Wall Street Journal, playing chess, coaching soccer, experimenting in cooking all types of cuisines (his best dish was key lime pie), drinking gin and tonics (equal parts with an orange twist), and starting his day with the perfect 10 cups of coffee. Dan was a competitive cyclist and triathlete, who loved skiing with his family, relaxing by the pool and beach listening to Jimmy Buffet and the Zac Brown Band, and most of all, Dan enjoyed spending time with his children and playing with his grandchildren. 

Through humble beginnings, growing up in a farm community, Dan learned the customer service business at an early age and soon recognized through working in his Dad's NAPA auto parts store how to connect with the customer.  Dan's first job on Hilton Head was as a Front Office Manager for the former Quality Inn on Deallyon Avenue.

Dan was a serial entrepreneur, having founded or purchased numerous businesses throughout the Southeast and the Caribbean. The roster of companies that make up Dan's entrepreneurial spirit since 1978 is extensive. Dan opened his first business, Smith Search, while still a student at Duke University and everything just took off from there and he opened Smith Personnel, Travel Ventures, Resort Resource Group, Inns of the Caribbean, Dan Smith Properties, CHARM (Condominium Hotel and Resort Management), Genesis Travel Group, Genesis Hotels & Resorts, Genesis Marketing, Connexions Group, and Worldwide Properties. Dan was a well-known business executive throughout the Southeast, owning and operating several diversified enterprises. Dan's parent company, Travel Ventures, created the largest travel agency in the South. He then acquired the controlling interest in the Florida company Wharton-Williams Travel, whose previous acquisitions included BT Travel and First Travel. Before Dan sold these businesses and turned to his passion in the automobile industry that he learned from his father, Dan's organizations were grossing over $82 million in sales with 42 offices in 7 states and 294 employees.

After the sale of his travel business, Dan's focus turned to the automobile industry and the creation of Capstone Financial Group which he founded in 1989 as an investment bank for mid-sized corporations with the Company's mission of being the No.1 Investment banking firm for the automobile industry in North America. To date, Capstone has closed over 75 transactions. As President and CEO, Dan and Capstone represented companies such as Go Rhino, Autologue, eBay, Adell Group Inc., Fabtech Motorsports, Powerflow Inc., Powerflow Products Ltd., and Solutions Plastik Inc. Together with the Capstone dream team, Dan has irrefutably closed more auto/mobility M&A transactions than any other investment banker in the world. For 32 years, he provided reputable, incomparable investment banking services to automotive, autotech and mobility clients. As a result, he has established himself as “the guy” to call, a respected expert with whom industry stakeholders connect when they seek a successful deal with optimized results. Due to his diverse transaction portfolio, Dan has “touched” virtually every conceivable part of automobiles, light trucks and heavy duty trucks.

With such extensive experience in Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as all aspects of corporate management, Dan served as a frequent consultant to Government and Industry, and is a nationally recognized authority in the Automotive Industry. His instincts about the collision of the legacy auto industry and technology led him to San Jose where he further enhanced Capstone’s reputation as a forward-thinking authority on automotive and mobility technology

For his entire life, Dan was a church member of First United Methodist Church of Warrenton. On Hilton Head, Dan spent considerable time and resources serving on St. Andrew by-the-Sea United Methodist Church Administrative Council as Treasurer from which he recently retired. He remained an extremely spiritual and devout Christian to this day, reading his morning devotional daily without fail.

Dan will always be a beloved son, brother, father, best man, friend, and grandfather. We all love you Melvin Daniel Smith and you will ALWAYS be with us and in our hearts! Dan will be missed dearly by all who loved and knew him.

Funeral services will be held at 2PM at Savannah Valley Memorial Gardens in Thomson, GA on Sunday February 20th with First United Methodist Church Rev. Sandra Leightner officiating. Dan will lie in state for one hour prior to the service at the graveside.

The family requests that donations be made to the G6 College Fund care of First United Methodist Church (reference Melvin Daniel Smith).

Friends may call at the residence or the Lowe Funeral Home.

Please visit www.lowefuneralhomes.net to sign the online guestbook.

Lowe Funeral Home, 77 W Gibson St. Warrenton GA 30828 (706) 465-3333

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Services

Visitation
Sunday
February 20, 2022

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Savannah Valley Memorial Gardens
2235 Washington Road
Thomson, GA 30824

Graveside Service
Sunday
February 20, 2022

2:00 PM
Savannah Valley Memorial Gardens
2235 Washington Road
Thomson, GA 30824

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