John Robert Smith
Gramer Funeral Home
705 North Main Street
Clawson, MI
John Robert Smith, 89, a 67-year resident of Royal Oak, Michigan, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2021 in his home, with his family by his side. He was a loving husband and father to his wife and seven children. John was born in 1932 in Pontiac, Michigan and was a member and class president of the first graduating class of Shrine High School in 1950. In 1952, John married his high school sweetheart, Nancy (Coon). He earned both bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Detroit in Business and Accounting. John was drafted in 1954 and served in Korea until May of 1956, when he was honorably discharged to attend college. John worked at the Rochester Paper Company as a financial controller from 1956 to 1968 and then changed careers to become a stockbroker until his retirement in 2000 from Paine Webber. John loved golf and played frequently. When he was in his 70s and 80s, he was often able to score his age. He was also a hockey and baseball aficionado, supporting the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers. John was the quintessential music lover. Both he and Nancy were Detroit Symphony patrons for more than 50 years. John particularly loved Beethoven, Elgar and Mahler and lately the music of Karl Jenkins. John and Nancy traveled extensively in their later years and were able to visit every continent with the travel club Nomads. John's favorite trips were to Botswana and Zimbabwe. John was known to his children and grandchildren as a loving father and papa. His even temper and bright wit were enjoyed by all, as was his impromptu singing throughout the day. Many mornings you could hear him sing Oh What a Beautiful Morning, among others. He was proud of his wife and children and he made all of them feel loved and special. John is survived by his wife of 68 years, Nancy, and his seven children, Chris Smith (MaryAnn), Katie Lorts (Dan), Sally Kane (Tim), Rose Okada, Gordon Smith, Marti Smith (Mark Gastmeyer), and Larry Smith (Becky). He also leaves behind grandchildren Kelli Moore, Wendi Bryant (David), Claire Lorts (Ken Hull), Ted Lorts, Tiara Kane, Haley Smith, Max Smith, Owen Smith, Keegan Sutherland, and many nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Published by Daily Tribune on May 2, 2021.
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