FAIRBANKS, Alaska - John Russell Smith, 67, died December 20, 2015 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Born May 28, 1948, in Savannah, GA, to Kandy and John Smith (deceased), Russ was raised from age 3 by his mother, Kandy, and stepfather, L.D. Waters, Sr., in Evans, Georgia. Russell graduated from Evans High School and attended Mars Hill College on a football scholarship. As a sophomore, college took a back seat while he served his country in the Vietnam War. Upon returning home, he ran Dunaway Printing, while completing an Electrical Engineering Technology from Augusta Technical College. Russ was personable and at the top of his class. These traits resulted in a career with Michelin Corporation in Greeneville, SC. He is survived by his beloved wife of 32 years, Jenny Lynn Patch: his son, John Benjamin Smith of Atlanta; stepson, Phillip Preston Patch of North Georgia; his father, L.D. Waters; sister, Nancille W. Sherrill; brother, Lamar D. Waters, Jr.; niece, Jacqueline W. Mullins and nephew, Tennis Alexander Milam of Appling, Georgia. After the children graduated, he and his wife traveled the globe, working medical temp jobs and seeking adventures. Along the way, Russell obtained a B.S. in Computer Information Systems. They settled in Fairbanks, AK. Russell was an IT Specialist at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital until he retired. There will be a celebration service in Evans, Ga., to remember this dear man who touched everyone who knew him. Call 706-868-6448 for additional information. He will be buried in Newington, Georgia with his family.
Published in The Augusta Chronicle on Dec. 25, 2015