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Ankeny, IA 50023
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Memories & Candles

“Love and prayers to all of Uncle John's family. He was a dear man and shared so much with others. ”
1 of 5 | Posted by: Diana Schrader (Haug) - IA

“I am so sorry to hear about John's passing. I thought the world of John! He was a large presence, but a big teddy bear. I will remember how kind he...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Julie Anderson - Cape coral, FL

“John had an incredible amount of wisdom. As I became active in ECSAA in 2012, I was most apprehensive about my responsibility. I singled out John...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Anthony Looney - Allen, TX

“I am saddened to hear of John's passing. We were his neighbors in Ankeny almost 40 years ago. He was a wonderful father, friend; caring and...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Gayle Luck - Iowa City, IA

“So sorry to hear of Johns passing. He was a very special part of our family. Took such good care of my Sister Pauline and was so good to me. I...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Kay Stearley - Lake Orion, MI


Navy Emblem

John W Smith, Jr, Ankeny passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 14, 2019, at the age of 92 in Ankeny, IA. Visitation will be held from 9:30-10:30, Thursday, December 19th at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Catholic Church (510 E. First Street Ankeny, IA 50021). Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. also at the church.
John was born on Tuesday, December 6, 1927, to John W Smith Sr and Genevieve K (Ohnemus) Smith. John Jr was the first child born in the newly purchased acreage on the outskirts of Melcher IA, joining two older siblings, where he grew up and attended the Melcher Public Schools.
John enlisted in the US Navy at 17 and served in World War II aboard the USS Salamaua CVE96 in the South Pacific. He was proud that his ship was anchored behind the USS Missouri as the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay.
John married Beverly (Haug) Smith in 1948. To this union five children were born. Beverly passed away in 1987. John married Pauline Gaskill-Smith in 1990. Pauline passed away on Christmas Day 2014. John enjoyed traveling, cruising, and wintering in Texas for many years. John also enjoyed "fixing things".
John joined his ship's reunion group in which he became a leader. He then became involved with the Escort Carrier Sailors & Airmen Association. He served on the Associations Board of Governors for many years.
Over the years, John also was active with school reorganization, Boy Scouts of America, Indian Guides, Campfire Girls, UAW Local 450, Golden K Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus. He was a member of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, the VFW and American Legion.
John was employed with John Deere Des Moines Works and retired from there in 1982. He was part of the group that began the On With Life Head Injury facility in Ankeny and served on its board of directors several years.
Proceeding John in death were his parents, brothers Laverne, Kenneth and Robert, sisters Bernadette Boylan and Eunice, son David, and daughter-in-law Rebecca. A sister, Janice Chambers, survives and resides in Concord, CA. He leaves behind his children, Linda Madison of Spencer, IA, John of Ankeny, IA, Lorri (Ray) Smajd of Des Moines, IA, Robert of Des Moines, IA, daughter-in-law Jody Smith of Ankeny, IA, 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.