Cover photo for John F. Smith's Obituary
John F. Smith Profile Photo
John

John F. Smith

d. April 4, 2018

John (“Jack”) F. Smith was born June 16, 1929 and lived a robust life, passing away on April 4, 2018. He was, and did, many things throughout his life, including roles as: son, brother, athlete, alumnus, husband, father, businessman, board-member, mentor, grandfather, great-grandfather, a great addition to any social event and a very, very good friend. He was most proud of being a loving husband for 61 years to Mercedes Gery Smith and for building a family that grew to include six children, fourteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. The youngest of four brothers, he kept his extended Smith family clan an important part of his life. He was a successful executive, proud alumnus of The Haverford School, the University of Pennsylvania and its Wharton School. After graduating from Wharton he entered the US Navy and was proud of his service as Chief Gunnery Officer on the destroyer, USS Damato. Post the Navy he entered the business world, and over a long career served in industrial marketing and senior management roles with Container Corporation of America, Haveg/Hercules, Gould Batteries and Eaton Corporation. After the corporate world he started the executive search firm, Penn Partners. He also served on several boards including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia [CHOP], Holy Redeemer Hospital, the Modern Group, the Material Handling Institute [MHI] and Wharton’s Emeritus Society. Over time the Modern and MHI roles led to being recruited to a more hands-on capacity at Modern, where, over the next 25 years, he served in various leadership roles [President, Chairman, Board Member and ESOP Trustee] ending March 2018. At Modern he was known for his people skills, sales ability, insights on strategy, ready inclination to ask the hard questions and continued push to improve. Away from the business world and his family, he was an active sports participant and fan. Over time he was an avid amateur oarsman, golfer, tennis and squash player, loved to body surf and was always ready for any activity. As a fan he loved the Penn Quakers, the Eagles and any, and all, Philadelphia based sports team. He enjoyed his time at Penn and Wharton, though his engagement with the University did not end with graduate school and he remained an active alumnus throughout his life. Most recently, he played a variety of roles with the Wharton Graduate Emeritus Society, connecting senior alumni with MBA students and recent graduates to strengthen a community of mentorship opportunities. In his later years he and his wife moved into The Hill at Whitemarsh. There he joined the Residents Board, served on multiple committees and decided it was time to learn more by joining study groups for two great written works, Shakespeare and the Bible. He was truly a social person and loved engaging with anyone on virtually any topic. He always worked to know as many people as he could, and came to know everyone [senior management, colleagues, support staff and anyone he met] on a first name basis. His love of learning and ability to remain truly interested in every aspect of life, including everyone he met and what they were doing was an inspiration to all who knew him. He is survived by his six children: Ford [Mary-Jo], Field [Mary], Gery McKenna [John], Ashley Holton [Jack], Peter and Hunter [Lisa] as well as fourteen grandchildren and three great- grandchildren. He was pre-deceased in death by his wife [Mercedes], his parents [Henry and Helene] and three brothers [Hank, Les and Art]. He had a big, and true, presence and will be missed by all who knew him or were fortunate enough to cross his path make his acquaintance in his many stops along the way.A Mass will be celebrated on Thursday April 12, 2018 at 10:30AM at St. Genevieve Church 1225 Bethlehem Pike Flourtown, PA 19031.  The family will receive relatives and friends from 9:45-10:30AM at the church.  Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to either: Jack Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund Wharton Graduate Emeritus Society Attn: Helen FormanesThe Wharton School University of Pennsylvania 344 Vance Hall3733 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 OR: The Resident Association for the Hill at Whitemarsh In Honor of Jack SmithStudent Scholarship Fund4000 Fox Hound Drive Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, April 12, 2018

9:45 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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