John Treanor Smith, 92, passed away November 9, 2012. John (or J.T. as many knew him) was born February 22, 1920 to Cecil John and Carolyn Treanor Smith in Indiana Harbor, Indiana. John spent his early childhood years in West Virginia, and after his mother's untimely death, his father moved the family to Houston so that their Aunt Alta, who was known for her discipline and strength of character, could help raise John and his siblings-Charles, Jim, and Dorothy. John was a graduate of Sam Houston High School and received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Rice Institute (now Rice University) in 1940. While at Rice, John met and in 1943 married Margaret Louise Bickley. He earned his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of Michigan in 1943 and worked at Bell Labs in New Jersey following graduation. At Bell Labs he worked on the Manhattan Project which contributed to the successful conclusion of World War II. John and Margaret returned to Houston and Rice University in 1946 where John taught Chemistry and later served as president of the alumni association. In 1953 he joined Shell Development Company and later Shell Oil Company, where he retired in 1981 as the Consulting Geochemist. Recognized in industry for his technical contributions, John was an advisor to Shell's exploration and production executives and a mentor to many engineering and scientific staff. After retirement from Shell, John continued consulting on oil and gas production problems until 2010. As an industry consultant, John lent his considerable expertise to developing shale gas production, contributing to U.S. energy independence.
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John is survived by his five children: Carol Van Reet & husband Leo, Jim Smith & wife Bobbye Jean, Bruce Smith & wife Mary Pat, Judy Andries & husband Mike, and Nancy Smith; 11 grandchildren: Kirk, Greg, Jason, Nathan, Brian, Laura, Kelly, Kevin, Robert, Garrett, and Caitlin; and 5 great-grandchildren: Jakob, Noah, Madeline, Rory, and Caleb. John was predeceased by his wife Margaret, his sister Dorothy Plauché, his brothers Charles and Jim, and his grandson Mark. He enjoyed time spent with family and friends at their vacation home in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and vigorously pursued beating the S&P 500 with well-reasoned investment strategies. He will be remembered for his generosity, his entertaining spirit, his analytical approach to life's challenges, and his greatly respected advice and counsel to family, friends, and colleagues. He will be missed by all.
A private interment service will be held at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery. A memorial service for family and friends will be held on Monday, December 3rd at 10:30 A.M., Bethany United Methodist Church, 3511 Linkwood Drive, Houston, TX 77025. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Bethany United Methodist Church or the John Treanor Smith and Margaret Bickley Smith Endowed Scholarship at Rice University.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 18, 2012
Forest Park Lawndale
6900 Lawndale Street Houston, TX 77023