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John Rockwell "Rocky" Smith

1937 - 2018
John Rockwell "Rocky" Smith Obituary
John Rockwell (Rocky) Smith
July 10, 1937- January 6, 2018

Rocky Smith, an adventurer and long time Park City resident, passed away on January 6th, 2018. In the VA hospital in San Diego just a few miles away from his home is Baja, Mexico

Rocky was born in New York but grew up in Seattle, WA. He had a passion for fast cars as a young man, something he never truly grew out of. Rocky said that in the late 1950's when he was a young man, the expectation among all his friends was military service, so he served two years in the Coast Guard just out of high school. While still in the Coast Guard he met Shirley Morberg, the daughter of two Scandinavian immigrants to Seattle, to whom he was married for thirty years. Together they had two sons, Brian and Eric.

Rocky's sons were born while he was a student at the University of Washington. One day he took an aptitude test and was offered a job with a company he'd never heard of: IBM. His job was to repair computers at Boeing, something which at the time had more to do with carrying a toll box than programming.

In 1972 Rocky signed his family up for a tour in the Peace Corps. The family spent two years in Malawi, in East Africa. While there, Rocky developed a taste for warm weather and a relatively carefree life that he never lost. At the end of the Peace Corps assignment Rocky traveled with his wife and sons for 9 months across Africa and Asia. Rocky returned to Seattle and rejoined the rat race, landing a job with 3M as a salesman.

After living abroad in the relaxed pace of a former British colony in the tropics, life in the rainy city of Seattle with a corporate job lost its allure and in 1976 Rocky and Shirley were looking for something else. They found the answer in an old mining town in the mountains that had recently built a ski resort: Park City, Utah.

There Rocky got involved in the boomtown growth, developing homes and investing in real estate. As his kids grew and moved out on their own, Rocky's free spirit led him back to adventuring. He spent a lot of his time in sunny foreign locales and especially enjoyed sailing in Greece and Turkey.

Starting in the 1990's, Rocky became a road-tripping sunbird, wintering in Florida, Arizona and other locations. Eventually he developed a congestive heart failure condition that meant he could no longer live at 7,000 feet at all and moved to Baja California in 2010. He loved Baja and lived out his final years looking at the ocean and meeting up with the many friends he made there.

Rocky was always a free spirit, the master of minimalism. He could live well on next to nothing and went through his final years of declining health with great strength and spirit. He loved the company of his friends and always enjoyed a drink or few with them.

Your family and friends all over will miss you, Rocky!

Rocky is survived by his sons Brian and Eric, their mother Shirley, his sister Marilyn and nephew Sean.

There will be a memorial planned in Park City and one in Baja in Summer 2018, dates to be determined.
Published in The Park Record from Mar. 31 to Apr. 7, 2018
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