Mr. John E. Smith (affectionately known as “Uncle John”, “Papa” and “Grandpa”), was born on April 19, 1923, to the late Robert E. & Lillie B. Johnson Smith. He peacefully went home to be with his heavenly Father on December 16, 2018.
He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior at an early age and in the truest tradition was baptized in the river and became a lifelong member of St James Baptist Church where he served faithfully as an Usher, member of the Male Chorus and church Sexton.
He was a father, grandfather, brother, husband’ uncle, friend and godfather. He was a kind man with a loving spirit and loved to spread his warmth to everyone he met because he was “As cool as a Popcicle”. He would be up early to get ready for Sunday service and was always one of the first to arrive. After service he would linger to fellowship. HE LOVED SAINT JAMES BAPTIST CHURCH. And St James Baptist Church loved him.
He was educated in the Hanover County Va. Public Schools and Armstrong Vocational School in Washington, D.C., where he learned the upholstery trade. He was employed for over thirty years with Safeway Stores until his retirement attaining the position of Assistant Manager. Making furniture became his second favorite hobby after gardening. His garden was his pride and joy. He spend long hours tending his garden and was eager to share its delicious bounty. He always had enough to share around and still stock his own freezer. His garden treats made it all the way to Washington, DC and Maryland.
He was called to enter the military during World War II where he served from June 1943 was discharged in March of 1946 during which he earned the rank of Sergeant. While in the military he was stationed in the Pacific and participated in the Pacific Campaign. Decorations and citations included American Theatre Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, a good conduct medal and a World War II Victory Metal. He was in the Pacific from October 1944 through February 1946. While in the military he became an avid tennis player. Even after a serious car accident, he continued to play tennis and softball which is a testament to his strength and fortitude.
He was united in holy matrimony to the late Lois Bertha Hill on July 21, 1946. From that union was born Johnnie Corrine (who proceeded him in death and John Edward, Jr. (nee Yvonne).
He leaves to cherish his memory a loving and devoted sister, Thelma Jackson, one son John (nee Yvonne), three grandsons, Josef Green, Marcus Smith (nee Erica), and Wayman Smith, six great-grandchildren; Jasmine Green, Josef Green II, Jaida Green, and Jonathan Green; Carter Smith and Ava Corrine Smith, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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