Jack F. Smith, fondly known as “Mr. Trumansburg”, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, February 22, 2008 at the age of 78.
Born in Elyria, Ohio on December 26, 1929, Jack was the son of Edward and Alice Kelly Smith. Moving to Trumansburg with his family at the age of six, Jack spent his early years delivering grocery fliers for Glen Lanning’s Grocery and at Phil Wolverton’s Grocery Store delivering groceries. He was also an usher at the Cayuga Theater in town.
In the late 1940’s Jack accepted a position with Morse Chain and worked there until 1950 when he entered the U.S. Army. He received an Honorable Discharge from active duty on September 15, 1952, yet in keeping with Jack’s eagerness to serve others, he remained in the Army Ready Reserve until September 20, 1956. While in the reserves, Jack resumed his position at Morse Chain for a short time before joining the maintenance team at the Trumansburg Central Schools.
It was through the schools that Jack developed friendships with countless students and colleagues. Both in school and out in the community, Jack always had a kind word for everyone. He would go out of his way to ask sincerely “how are you” and somehow, before parting company, Jack’s warm, winning smile coupled with a story or joke left a person feeling happier. Seldom does one person’s compassion warm the hearts of so many.
Following retirement from the school, Jack continued to console others while assisting his good friend, Joe Sibley at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home. When not working, Jack could often be found on the porch of his Main Street home waving continuously at the friends who honked as they passed by or mowing his lawn with a fervor, on his John Deere, whether the lawn needed to be cut or not. Jack’s face was also familiar to those at St James the Apostle Roman Catholic Church where he was a communicant, cemetery caretaker, cake-wheel master extraordinaire, and often served as an usher.
In addition to his parents, Jack was preceded in death by a brother, Clayton and a sister, Sylvia.
Jack is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Carmen; daughter and son-in-law, Mimi and Ian Duncan; daughter and son-in-law, Rosie and Tom Pudish; son and daughter-in-law, John and Kristen Smith; daughter, Lisa Wolf; five grandchildren, Beth Anne and Bridgette Duncan, Keri Pudish, Hayden Smith and Molly Wolf; one brother, James (Audrey); three sisters, Janie (John) Beltramo, Charlotte Hovencamp and Sally (Pete) Wright; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family will be present to receive friends on Monday, February 25, 2008 from 3-9 pm at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg.
Mass will be celebrated by Fr. John Tokaz, OFM Cap.on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 11:00 am at St. James the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, 17 Whig St., Trumansburg.
Members of the Arthur E. Bouton American Legion Post #770 Honors Team will perform a Military Tribute at the church immediately following the Mass.
Following the services at the church, a luncheon will held at the American Legion Post in Trumansburg. Please join the family for fellowship and if you are comfortable in doing so, bring a story or joke to share.
In lieu of flowers, the family has established a scholarship fund in Jack’s name to be awarded to a graduating senior who exhibits the same type of charisma, zest for life, and sense of humor that Jack possessed. To make a contribution to this scholarship fund, kindly make a check payable to: Jack Smith Scholarship Fund and mail to: Tompkins Trust Company, P.O. Box 702, Trumansburg, NY 14886. Contributions may also be made to the Trumansburg Ambulance Fund, P.O. Box 418, Trumansburg, NY 14886 or Hospicare of Tompkins County, 172 E. King Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.
“Mr. Trumansburg” will be dearly missed by all those whose life he touched and feel honored to have known him. And by the way….did I tell you the one about......