John Alonzo Smith, 98, made his peaceful transition to be with his wife, Rosemary, in heaven on Mon., Dec. 2, 2019. Born September 24, 1921 in Winfield, Kansas, the son of John Lon and Georganna (Robinson) Smith, he traveled extensively in the Midwest as his father was working in the oil fields. As a young boy in Western Kansas he handpicked corn and delivered water from horseback to the harvesters in the fields. In the 7th grade the family settled in Michigan and there he remained until he graduated in 1939 from West Branch Public High School.
Shortly after high school John joined the Army Air Corps in May 1941 with 15 cents in his pocket and proudly served his country in many capacities; graduating from airplane maintenance school the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 6, 1941. After spending three winters in Alaska as part of the Lend-Lease program he was discharged as a Master Sergeant in November 1945 and made his way to Rose Poly College in Terre Haute, IN. He graduated Cum Laude in 1949 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
John married the love of his life, Rosemary, June 14, 1952 and she gave him the best gift he said he could have ever imagined; his family. John’s love for Rosemary was so great that he joined the Catholic Church and had a Catholic wedding. While working full time at Western Electric, with the support of his loving wife Rosemary, John earned his Masters of Business Administration Degree from the University of Missouri in 1965. After 25 years with Western Electric, Rosemary and John retired to Bella Vista, Arkansas: he enjoyed long nature walks for fitness as a lifelong passion, as an avid golfer he played in five leagues: his proudest moment came February 15, 1984 when he scored his first of many holes in one at Bella Vista's Kingswood course on the 7th hole, he also loved ballroom dancing at the country club with Rosemary, and enjoyed long family visits, holiday celebrations, and taking the grandkids out on the golf cart to explore and play putt-putt. He will be missed by family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his sisters: Louise Smith and Lois (Smith) Smithley and his wife of 59 years, Rosemary (Wiley) Smith. He leaves his son and caregiver, Daniel Smith; his two daughters: Rosanne Smith and Jill (Wilson) Smith; his granddaughters: Chantel Wilson and Michelle (Wilson) Delgado and husband David; his grandson, Alex Wilson and two great grandsons: Wyatt and Cooper Delgado.
Visitation will be held 4:00 to 5:30 pm with a Rosary at 5:30 pm on Fri., Dec. 6, 2019 at Bruce Funeral Home, 106 S. Center, Gardner, KS (913) 856-7111. A private family funeral service will be held on 10:00 am Sat., Dec. 7, 2019 at the funeral home. Burial 11:00 am with military honors follows at St. Columbia Catholic Cemetery. Condolences may be left at www.brucefuneralhome.com