We are saddened to announce the death of John H. Smith on September 16, 2023. He was at home and surrounded by his family.
John H. Smith was born on August 23, 1946, to Dr. James H. Smith and Nona Lee Smith in Ponca City, Oklahoma. He was one of four children and the son of a pastor. He graduated from McClure High School in Florissant, Missouri. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University where he met the love of his life, Beverly Garrett. They married in 1968. During their early married years, John was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served as a chaplain’s assistant in Korea during the Vietnam War. He finished his Master’s degree from Oklahoma University. John and Beverly have two children, Steven and Sheri.
John had an extensive teaching career, teaching high school choral music in the St. Louis area. He taught for Riverside School District, Jennings School District, and Fort Zumwalt School District, from which he retired. John was a dedicated teacher who served each school and his students with utmost care. John was a highly decorated teacher, earning several awards: the Podium Award from the Missouri Choral Directors Association, Teacher of the Year for Fort Zumwalt South, and the Service Award from the Missouri Music Educators Association. After retiring after 34 years of teaching, Johns worked with future music educators for the University of Missouri St. Louis and Missouri Baptist University.
John also participated actively in his community. In 1991, he began the St. Peter’s Choral Society. He served as director for 30 years, before retiring in 2021. This group included anyone who wanted to sing, high school and older. This group quickly grew and gained the respect of the community. In appreciation for their long-time conductor, the Choral Society changed its name to JH Smith Community Chorus in 2021.
John had many hobbies, including playing pickleball, painting, RC airplanes, cycling, sailing, and walking with his dog.
With all of his career successes, John’s priority was his family. He is survived by a brother, Mark (Ft. Worth, Texas), and a sister Joy (Memphis, TN). John Smith leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Beverly G. Smith (Overland Park, KS); a son, Steven J. Smith, and his wife and children (Tacoma, WA); and a daughter, Sheri Smith Cain, and her husband and children (Olathe, KS).
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, October 21, at 2:00 at Baue Cave Springs. Memorial gifts may be made to the American Cancer Society.