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John Paul Smith
May 4, 1955 ~ October 6, 2023 (age 68) 68 Years Old
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John Paul “Papa John” Smith, age 68 of Knox, passed away at UPMC Northwest on Friday evening, October 6, 2023, after a very brief struggle with cancer.
Born May 4, 1955 in Clarion, he was the son of the late William Smith and Joyce Wilson Smith.
He graduated from Clarion-Limestone High School and The Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing in Texarkana, Arkansas. He also attained the honor of being an Eagle Scout.
John was a carpenter all his life and retired from PennKraft Building Systems in Knox. He completely remodeled his 200-year-old farmhouse, the only instructions from his wife, Connie, being that the interior look like a new house, not an old remodeled farmhouse. He succeeded beautifully!
He was well known as an accomplished bladesmith and wood carver, known for hand forging blades in “Old Sparky” and creating handles from antler and native woods. He also hand carved large wood sculptures and traditional Iroquois masks and was a featured artist at the Cook Forest Woodcarving Festival.
A student of nature, John was the “go-to-guy” for any question about plants, birds, or any insect. In addition to working in his shop, he enjoyed his pets, friends and family and many happy hours (literally) on the deck with Con. He especially treasured fun times with Mont, Shel and Brig; his grandchildren and a new generation of great-grandchildren.
John is survived by his wife, Connie Chapman; step children, Monty Chapman, Jr. and his wife, Shelly, of Knox, and Brigitte Chapman Kimes of Jacksonville, Florida; family members and friends, Monty Chapman of Jacksonville, Florida, Don Mock of Clarion and Sam Kimes of Callahan, Florida; step grandchildren, Austin (Haley) Kimes of Callahan, Florida; Lexi (Remi) Kimes of Boulder Colorado; Kenzie (Christian) Kimes Williams of Jacksonville, Florida; Ashley (Chuck) DePari of Howe in the Hills, Florida; Travis Myers of Knox, and honorary grandson, Zack McCleary of Knox.
He dearly loved great grandchildren, Nick and Nate DePari and baby Ledger Williams.
John is also survived by his stepmother, Jeanie Smith of Rimersburg; sisters, Linda (Wayne) Matey of Virginia, Joyce (Bruce) Silagyi of South Carolina, Chris (Jim) Adams of Clarion and Barb Crissman of Shannondale, and many other family members, nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandparents, Agnes and Amos Wilson; brothers, William “Billy” Smith and David Smith and great granddaughter, Karsyn Kimes.
To honor John’s memory, please carry on his passion for kindness to all and the love he shared with all those fortunate enough to have known him. And, oh yeah, don’t forget to laugh.
At John’s request, he will be cremated with no viewing.
A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.
Online condolences may be sent to John’s family at www.rupertfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements are under the direction of the William N. Rupert Mortuary, Inc. of Knox.