In Memory of




Obituary for John Buell Smith

John Buell Smith, age 100, left this earth on March 13, 2020. He was born on June 12, 1919 in Watertown, New York to Madeline Porter Buell Smith and John Andrew Smith. His mother died after his birth due to flu complications and he was raised by his loving grandmother, Winnora Porter and his great aunts, Mae Porter and Sadie Porter. 

John graduated from Watertown High School and worked for the New York Central Railroad. He married Ruth Ives Henderson on April 5, 1942 at Saint Patrick’s Church in Watertown, NY.  Ruth passed away in 1970. The couple had four children who all survive. Jane Carol Bulger, Murrells Inlet, SC, Phyllis Mae Hock (Robert) Etowah, NC, John David Smith (Marie) Myrtle Beach, SC and Joyce Smith Mackessy, Fayetteville, NY. John was always a very honest, kind and giving father.

“Grampy” or ”Boo” is loved and will be remembered warmly by his grandchildren, Melissa Raymo, Michelle LaMarche, Tennille Shipwash, Robert John Hock, and Alicia Plevritis. Great Grandchildren: Chantele Worden, Brandon Raymo, Elias Plevritis, Scarlett and Austin Hock, Maci and Zach Shipwash. Great-great grandchildren: Nathan, Adalyn and Pyper Worden.
John spent many years driving back and forth between Gouverneur, Plattsburgh and Florida, avoiding the snowy NY winters, enjoying many cups of McDonald’s coffee along the way.
John passed away at The Cottages at Garden Grove in Cicero but previously lived at Maple Downs Retirement facility in Fayetteville.

He is predeceased by his wife, Ruth, his sons in-law, Gary Bulger, Dan Mackessy and so many friends, having lived a long life of nearly 101 years. 

John celebrated his 100th birthday in 2019 with a wonderful 3 day event including 5 generations of family present to celebrate a life well-lived.

John was ready and looking forward to meeting again and dancing again with all his old friends and loved ones who transitioned before he did. His sharp wit and humor will be missed.

Services will be private.

Contributions may be made to the Upstate Foundation, 750 E. Adams St., CAB326, Syracuse, NY 13210.