Born in Ohio, he was the son of the late Rudy and Donelda Smith and was also predeceased by his brother, Leon Smith. John was a 1958 graduate of Monroeville High School, Ohio. He was a U.S. Army Veteran and later served in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was retired after 30 years from Unidyne Corporation, where he was a contract manager. After retirement, he started and operated Smith Handyman Services in Chesapeake. He was a member of St. Stephen, Martyr Catholic Church. He was a founding member of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree, Council 2185, and was awarded the 2005 Knight of the Year for the state of Virginia. In his spare time, John enjoyed hunting, gardening, woodworking and making Rosaries.
Survivors include his loving wife of 52 years, Barbara; three children, Christopher Smith and wife Kelly, Dale Smith and wife Deborah, and Valerie Dembrak and husband Michael; grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Stephen, Emily, Carley, John and Hailey; siblings, Norita Jaworski, Rudolph Smith, Patricia Gies, and Eugene Smith; sisters-in-law, Joretta Watts and Johnna Dail and husband Erle; cousins, Robert Barnhart, Jim Smith and wife Betty; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.