John Smith

Published 10:09 am Friday, March 18, 2011

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — John Robert Smith, 58, of St. Johns, was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, March 11, 2011. John was born in High Point, N.C. in 1953, and was the eldest of five children, called “Robert” by his family and “Honey” and “Granddaddy” by others close to him.

John joined the United States Army, served active duty in Germany, rose to the rank of major, and retired in 1986 after 21 years of service. As his second career, John was the Florida Site Director for Vincennes University and liaison and consultant for all of Florida’s military, firefighters, and law enforcement personnel.

He excelled as a career counselor inspiring and motivating his students to obtain the highest level of education possible. Leading by example, John attained a master’s of business from Webster University in 1990. In 1995, he and his wife Kay both earned master’s degrees in educational leadership, with a minor in public administration, from Troy State University.

Email newsletter signup

John was a leader and provider. Starting early in his life, John often took the lead with his siblings, providing for them and giving them leadership, guidance, and support throughout his life. John was a man of great courage and compassion, greater than life itself, always there for those he knew, encouraging and supporting them.

John was a devoted, loving husband to his beloved Kay—his heart’s longing and his strength in living life to its fullest. He was first and foremost his wife’s protector, her knight in shining armor, her lover and best friend.

Even in his weakest moment as he lay dying, surrounded by family and friends, he reached up with both arms to embrace and hold his Kay, to comfort and be comforted with all his love from the depths of his heart.

John was a loving husband, brother, father, and granddaddy, survived by his devoted and loving wife, Kay St. Johns; two brothers, Phillip and Laurie Smith, Kernersville, N.C., and Franklin and Bethany Smith, St. Augustine; two sisters, Carolyn and Richard Kraus, Hilton Head, S.C. and Mary and Tim Honeycutt, Walkerton, N.C.; four daughters, Jennifer and David Byrum, Lexington, S.C., Staci Lee, High Point, N.C., Karrie Childers and David Easter, Wheelersburg, and Kellie Ann Manjarrez, St. Johns and Adan and Melinda Manjarrez, Jacksonville, N.C., John Ahad, Proctorville and Richard Lee, High Point; and 17 grandchildren, Brooke and Nicholas Howdyshell, Katlin and Kaleb Byrum, Ethan, Oliver, Mia and Millie Lee, Kaylee Manjarrez, Colin and Ally Ahad, Blake Childers, Joe Easter, Chandler McCoy and Robbie, Lauren and Brooke Duncan; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Millicent Hall Smith Thorsen of Greensboro, N.C. and Robert Franklin Smith Jr., of South Boston, Va.

The family will greet friends from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday at Tracy Brammer Funeral Home. Funeral services will also be held in the chapel at Tracy Brammer Funeral Home at 2 p.m. on Sunday with visitation one hour prior to service. To offer online condolences to the family you may visit