John Leon "Jack" SMITH

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SMITH, John Leon "Jack" 87, died Wednesday, May 1, at Friendship Village. Mr. Smith was born in 1925 in St. Paul, Mn., and grew up in Sheldon, N.D., son of John and Delia Smith. After turning 17, he joined the U.S. Navy at the start of WWII, earned his GED and attained Signalman First Class. He also served during the Korean Conflict. He began his career in the insurance industry as a claims adjustor, and worked his way up to vice president at Ohio Casualty Insurance Co., before retiring in 1990. Mr. Smith married Betty Lou Gitts in 1946. He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Amanda Cox of New Orleans, LA. Besides his wife, he is survived by Stephen (Susan) Kroll-Smith of Greensboro, N.C.; Stephanie Smith of Clayton; and Kathleen (Aaron) Baker of Lemon Grove, Ca.; grandchildren Kate Smith of Dayton, Patrick Gray of Ocala, Fl., Jeremy Baker of Newport News, Va., Danielle and Kyrah Baker of Lemon Grove, Ca., and Emma Kroll-Smith of Greensboro, N.C.; and great children Leo and Betty Lu Cox of New Orleans, LA. Mr. Smith, lovingly known as Cap'n. Jack, was an avid sailor. On the couple's boat, The Well Adjusted, he sailed with his wife and grandkids, and were a common sight on Lake Erie. In addition, he chartered various boats in ports around the world. He was an active member of the Dayton Power Squadron, teaching classes in navigation and basic sailing skills. Mr. Smith was an active member of St. Rita's Catholic Church for many decades. He was a founding member of the ROMEOs, "Retired Old Men Eating Out." He also was active with the Dayton chapter of Toastmasters. In addition, Mr. Smith sang baritone with a local barbershop quartets "Jack" donated his body for research at Wright State University's School of Medicine, saying "I would finally go to college; not only that, I am going to medical school." Memorial services for Mr. Smith will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, at St. Rita's. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Ave., Dayton, OH 45420.

Published in Dayton Daily News from May 3 to May 4, 2013
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