John Harold Smith

March 5, 1925January 4, 2019

SFC John Harold Smith, retired United States Army, age 93, passed away January 4, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. He was born on March 5, 1925 in West Liberty, Iowa to Harold and Hazel Smith. He was preceded in death by his wife Eva Smith and is survived by his daughters, Betty Morgan and husband James, Linda Reader and husband Bruce, Carol Foster and husband James; grandchildren, Shannon Murray and husband Harry, Miles Reader, Grant Reader, Andrew Foster and wife Sarah, and Kayla Foster; great-granddaughter, Ryder Dayne Murray. A graveside service will be conducted at 9:00 A.M. Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at Fort Sam Houston National cemetery with United States Army Honors. Officiating at the graveside service will be Rev. Charles Fredrickson from Hope Lutheran Church.


  • Eva Smith, Wife
  • Betty Morgan and husband James, Daughter
  • Linda Reader and husband Bruce, Daughter
  • Carol Foster and husband James, Daughter
  • Shannon Murray and husband Harry, Granddaughter
  • Miles Reader, Grandson
  • Grant Reader, Grandson
  • Andrew Foster and wife Sarah, Grandson
  • Kayla Foster, Granddaughter
  • Ryder Dayne Murray, Great Granddaughter


  • Graveside Service Tuesday, January 15, 2019

John Harold Smith

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Andrew Foster

January 14, 2019

I've spent the last few days thinking about the things I wanted to say here and what Grandpa meant to me.

You would think that it would be easy, shuffling through all the memories I had with Grandma and Grandpa, but it's not.

As long as I can remember, Grandma and Grandpa were always there. Especially when they moved next door to us.

Grandpa took me fishing (one of the first times), taught me how to bait my hook and cast a line.
I have so many memories out at the different lake(s) with Grandpa and his telescoping rod that he always had packed in the car.

On vacation/visits, we would play catch for hours. I’m sure I wore him out, but he never showed it and never complained. One vacation, he was sitting in a chair playing catch with Dad and I. Grandpa urged me to put some heat behind the next throw. So without hesitation, I dug in and fired it over to him. Grandpa missed the pitch and it smacked him right in the knee. His knee swelled up like a grapefruit and I remember him telling me “Now, don’t mention any of this to Grandma…”

When they moved next door, Grandpa would meet us every day for years down at the gate and walk us up to the house. He attended many (if not all) of my ball games growing up. Always telling me, “…you played a heck of a game, Andrew!”

During the summer, Kayla and I would spend our days over at Grandma & Grandpa’s house. I was always fascinated with his operation of the ham radio. He would talk to Everett (if I remember correctly), his friend over in New Zealand at the same time every day. Grandpa let me talk to Everett on occasion and showed me how to search for new stations. I will never forget him yelling “ CQ, CQ, CQ calling CQ (however many) meters. This is N5AI…” as he scrolled over stations.

Grandpa taught me many things over the years. He was always there. It will be hard to get used to him being gone.

Thank you for the memories, Grandpa, I love you.
Give Grandma a kiss for me.

Bruce Reader

January 14, 2019

How I will remember Dad,

What can be said about John Harold Smith, a humble man, a quite man. Not one to be self absorbed, not prone to self promotion. Never the less an honorable and proud man. A man possessing the qualities of duty, honor, integrity, courage, country, family, God. A man of “THE GREATEST GENERATION” who served our county in time of war(s) . . . yes, plural.

A man who met a wonderful woman, Eva (Mom) and married for a life time, yes . . . a life time. Together they raised a family of 3 exceptional daughters, one of who I married 45 years ago, thank you Mom, Dad.

I am reminded of “Saving Private Ryan” at the end when James Ryan says, only Linda knows the depth of which this means to me, “Tell me I’ve led a good life. Tell me I’m a good man.” For John Harold Smith this is not to be questioned - he has led a good life and YES, he is a “GOOD MAN”.

John Harold Smith represents all that is good and right about humanity and our society.
We all have been blessed to be a part of his life’s journey.

From a Marine to a Soldier, I salute you, John Harold Smith, it is an honor and privilege to be a part of your life, a good life . . . Semper Fidelis, Dad.

Your tour of duty is complete, served with honor and integrity. You are now where you need to be, with Mom. It is now our responsibility to carry on the legacy, the legacy of John Harold Smith.

Carol Foster

January 13, 2019

My Dad,
He was a kind person, he was always nice to everyone he met, he was generous, and he always thought of us at birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. He was always helpful; if I needed a ride to the doctor, he was always there. When the kids were young he would go down and meet them at the bus stop and care for them until we got home from work. He even helped me with a flat tire one time when Jim was out of town. After Mom passed away Dad was very independent. He cooked, cleaned, and shopped for himself. He never wanted to be a burden to anyone and did that until the very end until he had no strength. Dad loved to eat; Olive Garden was his favorite restaurant. He enjoyed coming to our house for weekend meals. He also went with us occasionally to family outings and enjoyed BBQ’s and having a beer or two. Sometimes he even broke out a dance move or two when music was playing. Dad was funny, he always had a joke or two about something. Dad was also stubborn, he held firm until we could convince him otherwise. There is so much more to my Dad. He was a great Dad. He treated all of us equal and never a favorite. He always told us that he loved us. I am thankful we had a Dad like him. We will miss him very much and we will think of you every day.
We Love You Dad

Linda Reader

January 13, 2019

I am very thankful that my sisters and I had our Father for as long as we did. I remember my Father as being very strong. Not so much by outward appearance, he was strong for my Mother and for his family. He provided more for us than I ever realized as a child..
My Dad provided the love and guidance and the essentials that made me who I am today. He was always there when I needed him, even if he did not agree with me, he respected me enough to let me make my decisions..he taught me how to own up when I was wrong because he owned up when he was. (Although he was most always the right one.)
I have many fond memories , strong memories of him that will be held in my heart ❤️ for ever. I love and miss you Daddy! Enjoy the after life because you deserve it all.. Linda

Jim Morgan

January 10, 2019

I have so many memories of Dad its difficult to remember just one. For me Dad was such a role model for his family. He was always there for his children. He raised his daughters to be the women they are today. They are successful individuals who have raised wonderful caring children who are the reflections of them. Dad was always there from famiy get togethers, ball games, holidays, vacations, all occasions. In a nutshell Dad was always there. People talk about Heros, and in my book Dad was one. He made me strive to be a better person and human being. Dad this Shiner Bock is for you. See you with the angels some day.

Betty Morgan

January 10, 2019

In Loving Memory
John Harold Smith

God saw you were getting tired
And a cure was not to be.
So He put his arms around you and
Whispered "Come to me".
With tearful eyes we watched you and saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating
Hard working hands at rest.
God broke out hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the Best.

James Foster

January 10, 2019

I feel very lucky to have so many memories with Dad that spans over the past thirty eight years. I first met Mom and Dad in 1979 for the first time after Carol and I started dating at the beginning of the summer in 1979. The one special thing that I remember was the way that Mom and Dad both made me feel like a part of the family right away. I thought Dad would be extra tough on me but he was very welcoming and made me feel comfortable right away. The only thing that shocked them about me was how much food I ate. I honestly think that they thought something was wrong with me because I ate so much. Over the years I realized that Dad and I had similar interests and liked to do a lot of the same things. To my surprise he loved to play tennis, throw the football, throw the baseball, ride horses, and play ping pong in addition to his hobbies dabbling in electronics and doing Ham radio. He was very competitive and made this youngster earn the wins when I was lucky enough to beat him. He probably would have done a number of other adventurous things but Mom kept the reigns on Dad to keep him from getting hurt. He was able to pull off going water skiing at one of our lake trips because Mom wasn’t in the boat with us. Mom didn’t like to be in boats at all. He told us that Mom would be ok with it, but I think that he got into a little trouble when we got back home. Dad was also quite the fisherman too. I can’t remember ever catching a bigger fish than he did. He always seemed to pull in the bigger catch no matter where we went. I always enjoyed talking sports and politics with Dad when we had time to chat during the week or weekends. The most special memories with Dad were when I would go have a cup of coffee and visit Dad on Saturday mornings. I will miss those times with Dad. I love you and will miss you dearly Dad! Have fun with those new Angel wings!
Loving Memories

Miles Reader

January 9, 2019

The oldest and fondest memory of my Grandpa that I think of is the first time I remember him and grandma coming to visit us when my family lived in Anaheim. I wanted to show him everything, but what touched me the most was when I showed him my bike, and told him I cleaned the chain ( I had to of been 5 or 6, it was big deal to me) He was genuinely impressed and proud of the job I did. He said “Miles that’s a beaut” (meaning beautiful). It made me feel proud. It’s something that I’ve always remembered and any time I think of that moment , I can still hear him saying it in my head. I love you Grandpa and proud and appreciative for having you in my life. I could always count on you, you never forgot about me, even when it seemed like others did. Rest easy Grandpa and give Grandma a hug for me.

- Miles