Mount Vernon News

Mount Vernon News
April 20, 2013 8:07 am EDT


MANSFIELD — John L. Smith Jr., 76, died Wednesday, April 17, 2013, after courageously and tirelessly battling Parkinson’s disease for several years.

This exceptionally good man left his earthly home and beloved family to be with his heavenly father, but not before leaving his mark on all who knew him. He was an intelligent, hard-working, thoughtful and principled man with great humility and integrity, but was probably most known for his tender heart and sweet disposition. Always ready with a cheerful greeting, a warm smile, and kind and encouraging words, he immediately endeared himself to all who came in contact with him.

He was a man of great and unshakable faith, who demonstrated his beliefs every day of his life. Dedicated to studying the Bible every morning, serving others both in and out of the church, and generously offering his unconditional love to his family, he truly was a man of God; the spiritual rock of his family. He was a leader in the truest sense of the word, always sacrificing for others, putting their needs above his own, all the while exhibiting a humble demeanor.

He was born Aug. 17, 1936, in New Brighton, Pa., to John L. Smith Sr. and Leone (Eberman) Smith, and graduated from Beaver (Pa.) High School. He studied engineering at Penn State University and transferred to Geneva College to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.

A registered Professional Engineer with the State of Ohio since 1966, John worked as chief engineer with Empire Detroit Steel, retiring in 1994 as Division Director of Environmental Engineering from ARMCO Steel Co. with 23 years of service.

He was a member of First Alliance Church and active with the building committee for the Cook Road building. He also served the congregation on the church board, as trustee and sang in the choir.

Upon retirement, John and his wife built their dream home at Apple Valley Lake, where for 25 years, they enjoyed entertaining family and friends. He loved fishing, and the atmosphere there where he found serenity and solitude to seek God’s will for his family and himself. John strove to lead his family in a fashion that brought glory to God.

He is survived by his wife, Jean Smith; their children, J. Neal (Jodi) Smith of Overland Park, Kan., Jill E. (Dr. Jay) Guth of Mansfield and Holly B. Sanders of Mount Vernon; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother, Richard (Zelda) Smith of New Brighton, Pa.; a brother-in-law, Jonathan “Jeep” (Louise) Bloom of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and a sister-in-law, Joan Gridley of Lancaster, Pa.

The Smith family will receive friends Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. A worship service, giving glory to God for the life of John Smith, will be held Monday at 11 a.m. in First Alliance Church, 291 W. Cook Road, Mansfield. Pastors Jim Cheatham and Dr. Steven Burggraf will officiate. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions to American Cancer Society may be made at the funeral home.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Smith family, and private condolences may be made to them online at

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