Meadville Tribune

Obituaries (Archives)

March 28, 2012

John McGrath Smith

FRANKLIN — John McGrath Smith, 68, of Franklin, died Friday, March 16, 2012, after a long struggle with COPD and lung cancer.

He was born in Meadville, May 16, 1943, the eldest son of the late Jack C. and Mildred L. Smith.

He graduated from Meadville Area High School then served two years in the U.S. Army as a communications specialist stationed in South Korea.

He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Edinboro State University in 1968.

He married Mary Kay Smith in 1970; they divorced in 1981. In 1987, he married Andrea C. Weiss; she survives.

He worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare for his entire career and retired in 1997.

John was an accomplished jazz guitarist, Civil War expert and a woodworker who created museum-quality miniature furniture.  He was an avid reader and enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting in the Allegheny National Forest.

He was friend and mentor to his younger brothers, his children and grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, John is survived by his son, Aaron M. Smith and his wife, Valderine, of Jacksonville Fla.; his daughter, Holly L. Smith and her husband, Juan Valencia, of Franklin; his brother, Thomas P. Smith and his wife, Suzanne van Nuys, of Hyattsville, Md.; his grandchildren, Jake M. Smith, Nicholas M. Smith, Andrea M. Smith, Sarah A. Smith and Shauryn DaSilva; his nephews, Roan M. Smith, Kelly C. Smith, and Ian S. van Nuys; and many dear friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two younger brothers, Michael S. Smith and Timothy K. Smith.

A memorial service for family and close friends was held March 24 in Franklin. Per his wishes, his ashes were spread in the Allegheny National Forest.

The family suggests that memorial donations be made to the VNA Foundation, 491 Allegheny Blvd., Franklin, Pa. 16323; or to the National Historic Trust, 1785 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

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