Keith Smith honored as the 2020 Distinguished Service Award Recipient
DuBOIS — An unsuspecting Arthur Keith Smith, known for his service to the DuBois Continuum of Care Inc. and the Haven House Shelter, was presented the 2020 DuBois Area Jaycees Distinguished Service Lifetime Achievement Award at Saturday’s Greater DuBois Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development’s Business Bash and Awards Ceremony at the DuBois Country Club.
“It’s quite a surprise to me,” said Smith, accepting the award. “I’m honored. My contributions were minor compared to some of the things you awarded here today but this is really, really special. Everywhere I went, there were good people, keeping me sane and safe, and making it worthwhile to keep going.”
“If I had known this was coming, I would have prepared a statement,” said Smith. “I was shocked about halfway through the presentation when I realized that I’m the only one that it fit.”
“Each year, the initial responsibility of the newly inducted chapter president is to present the Distinguished Service Award for an individual whose commitment and service to the community would humble the most egotistical person in the room,” said Jaycees President Sheri Price. “I suppose that’s the Jaycee way of reminding ourselves of the final point of our Creed, ‘that service to humanity is the best work of life.’”
Price said the award is designed to recognize an individual who lives life with three key distinctive features: Success in their chosen vocation, community involvement, and service to his or her faith.
Smith was born in a small rural home in the Beechwoods area where he lived with his parents and six siblings. He graduated from the Reynoldsville High School in 1952. Upon graduation, he attended Penn State University where he earned a degree in accounting in 1956. A lifelong fan of Penn State Football, he continued attending games through 2018.
Smith worked as an accountant for U.S. Steel and Brockway Glass. Prior to Brockway Glass’s merger with Owens-Illinois, he was promoted to the Risk Management Department. He worked the rest of his career as an insurance agent for Swift Kennedy.
“In the words of the nominator,” Price said, “He has always been soft spoken and well liked in his community, and has tried to make his community stronger and better in ways that matter.” He has done this through membership in the Jaycees, as a JCI Senator, and a Mason in Garfield Lodge #559. He has dedicated his faith through membership in the First United Presbyterian Church of DuBois since 1963.
Smith became a board member for the DuBois Nursing Home in March 1997 and served as president from 2003 to 2004. During his presidency, the DuBois Nursing Home and DuBois Village were merged to form the DuBois Continuum of Care Inc. Additionally during his term, the DuBois Continuum of Care Community Foundation was created, which he served as founding president. In his 23 years of service to the Continuum, he has been actively involved in each stage of strategic planning and development of the campus. He remains active in this role as secretary/treasurer of the Continuum board and active member of the foundation board.
He married his wife in November 1955. They would nearly have celebrated their 51st anniversary when she died in 2006. He continues to show his dedication to her by finalizing her passion project and serving as president of the board of Haven House Shelter since its inception in 2006.