John T. Smith of Georgetown, IL, was reunited with the love of his life in Heaven on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. John T. peacefully left this life with his children by his side.
John T. was born on May 2, 1938, in Lincoln, IL. He was the son of Ray and Virginia (Hanahan) Smith. This farm boy met the big city girl of his dreams, his Jeanne, at the University of Illinois in 1959. The college sweethearts were married in Chicago, IL on Jeanne's twentieth birthday, July 29, 1961.
John T. and Jeanne moved to Georgetown, IL in 1962. They immediately immersed themselves in the community. Their involvement in the Georgetown Fair led the way to lifelong community service. John T.'s passion for the Georgetown Fair was exemplified in his role with the livestock for more than fifty years. He could always be found in the hog barn working alongside kids, leading by example. John T. also touched and shaped many young lives through his 38 years of teaching both agriculture and building trades. Word has it that many push-ups were assigned in the halls of good ole GHS. His years as an educator and FFA Advisor allowed him to mentor many young men and women to a path of success. John T. was a kind, gentle, soft-spoken soul, but could deliver one-liners that would have the room in stitches. He was well known for his wit and humor. John T. was involved in many organizations over the years, including GREA member and president, GREA Miss Piggy, Jaycees, Georgetown Fair Board member and president, Santa House, War Memorial, Georgetown Christmas Basket, and organizer extraordinaire of the infamous Cubs bus trips to the friendly confines.
John T.'s "families" were very important to him. His wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were his greatest passion. He was in the height of his glory when all thirty-one of us were together laughing, playing cards, telling jokes, and reminiscing. He was the ultimate storyteller! Those who knew John T. know that he had a supreme gift with pen and paper through his poetry and heartfelt messages to those he held so near and dear to his heart. He honored many folks through the years with this gift. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do for anyone! He leaves a wonderful legacy of family love and family first. Due to the fact that both John T. and Jeanne's families were miles away, their fair and school "families" become very near and dear to both of them as well. Many lifelong friends have been made due to these connections.
John T. was a Die-Hard Cubs fan. One of his greatest joys was witnessing his beloved Cubbies become World Champions. He was a lifelong, devoted fan who each spring truly believed "THIS is our year!" Although John T. bled Cubbie blue, he enjoyed his friendly rivalry with family and friends that rooted for THAT red team.
John T. will be dearly missed by his children, Kristine (Steve) Muehlher of Indianola, Kathleen (Greg) Lientz of Chrisman, David (Amy) Smith of Georgetown, and Diane (Jeff) Newell of Westville; his grandchildren, Master Sgt. Michael (Nikki) Cox of Navarre, FL, Kyle (Alice) Lientz of Chrisman, Tyler (Crystal) Cox of W. Terre Haute, IN, Brooke (Brian) Dunavan of Tilton, Jessica Muehlher of Louisville, KY, Jonathan and Jeremiah Smith of Georgetown, Kendall, Lani and Lexi Newell of Westville; great grandchildren, Camden, Colton, and Nora Cox of Navarre, FL, Robin and Samuel Cox of W. Terre Haute, IN, Delaniee Dunavan of Tilton, Sadie Lientz of Chrisman, and two more great grandchildren on the way; and siblings, Ann Thoele of Springfield, Julie Hill of Elkhart, Mary (Bud) Rudin of Bradenton, FL, Raymond Smith of Elkhart, and Carolyn (Pete) Pirrera of Springfield. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jeanne, and his brother, Charles, and several special friends.
A visitation and Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Monday, June 19, 2017, at the Georgetown Fairgrounds Convention Center in Georgetown, IL. Visitation will be held from 2:00 - 8:00 pm with the Celebration of Life Memorial Service immediately following at 8:00 pm. Reverend Jim Blue will officiate. A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 11:00 am at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church in Georgetown, IL. Sunset's Houghton-Leasure Funeral Home, 200 E West St, Georgetown, assisted the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Georgetown Fair Livestock Program, Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School Vocational Ed. Department, or GREA Miss Piggy. The family requests that those attending the visitation and/or Celebration of Life on Monday wear your favorite sports' team attire or dress casually, as Dad will be dressed accordingly. As per John T.'s wishes, he will be cremated following the services and interred into the family memorial alongside his beloved Jeanne.
John T.'s family would like to thank the many friends and family members who spoiled him with his favorite homemade meals and sweets, made sure he got to meetings and gatherings, and for the outpouring of love and support to him after losing his Jeanne. He was blessed beyond measure!
John T. was a humble, loving man with great compassion for others. His passing will leave a void in the lives of his family and countless friends. Please join his family in sharing memories through his Tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com
Published on June 16, 2017