John Earl “John” Smith, age 84, of New Bethlehem passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, July 17, 2020, surrounded by loved ones, following a prolonged illness.
Born at home on February 26, 1936, he was a son of the late William “Spurge” and Lula Sherry Smith of Beautiful Lookout.
He married the former Louise Kugler on November 22, 1955 and she survives. John and Louise were married 64 years and together raised three strong daughters, each who will miss his beautiful blue eyes, words of wisdom and support, and his gentle laughter.
John proudly served his country in the United States Air Force for eight years, serving in the Vietnam Era. He was attached to the 7th Aerial Port Squadron and was stationed in New York, Mississippi, Newfoundland, Labrador, Louisiana, New Jersey and Ashiya and Itazuke, Japan.
Following his service, he had various occupations, was self-employed for many years and retired from the coal industry, where he was a heavy equipment operator for various mining companies.
John will be remembered as a loving husband, Dad and Papa. He enjoyed working with his hands and could fix almost anything brought to him over the years.
He enjoyed fishing, boating, and restoring old tractors, especially Ford 8Ns.
John was an accomplished leather worker, specializing in knife sheaths, holsters, belts, and cartridge belts.
Survivors include his wife, Louise; three daughters: Kim Miller and her husband, Stanley, of Monaca; Vicky Doan and her husband, Tuan, of Glen Allen, Virginia, and Cathy Shaffer and her husband, Curt, of Sprankle Mills.
John is also survived by six grandchildren: Lt. Ashton Miller, USN, of Monterey, California; Emma and Connor Doan of Glen Allen, Virginia, and Dain, Willow and Mischa Shaffer of Sprankle Mills, and two sisters; Betty Nolf of Duncannon and Dorothy (Ed) Kunselman of New Bethlehem.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Leo, William, and Gene “Archie”, and one sister, Mary C. Smith.
According to John’s wishes, there will be no public service.
A private memorial service will be held by the family at a later date.
Interment will take place in the Mt. Zion Cemetery in Oak Ridge, Armstrong County.
The family extends their gratitude to the Home Solutions Hospice staff of Brookville for their extraordinary care.
Online condolences may be sent to John’s family at www.rupertfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements are under the direction of the Rupert Funeral Home and Cremation Service of New Bethlehem.
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