Well known Fayette resident and businessman, John Smith, passed away suddenly at the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia on Nov. 21, 2017. He was 75 years of age.
Johnny Lee Smith was born May 7, 1942, in rural Keytesville, Mo., the son of Horace Thomas and Mabel (Peddicord) Smith. He graduated from Keytesville High School in 1960. John served as a Military Policeman for the Missouri National Guard for several years. He married the love of his life, Sandra Hartung, on Oct. 20, 1962 at Salem Lutheran Church in Forest Green, Mo. Together they’ve enjoyed 55 years of marriage.
Mr. Smith started working for the Holsum Bread Company in Columbia. He worked for them for eleven years. He was owner and operator of two Dairy Queen franchises. He acquired his first in Columbia in 1972. In 1975 he purchased Miller’s Drive-In in Fayette and renovated that business into a Dairy Queen restaurant which he operated for a number of years. In 1981 he started working as an insurance agent for MFA/Shelter Insurance for 32 years, retiring in 2013.
John was very active in the Fayette community. He was a longtime member of the Optimist Club and took pride in working with the summer youth sports program, especially baseball. During the holidays, John enjoyed dressing up, and playing the town Santa for the children. John was a devout Lutheran and served as an elder and charter member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Fayette.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra, of the home, two sons; Kevin (Jan) Smith of Lee’s Summit, Mo. and Greg (Stephanie) Smith of Jefferson City, Mo., five grandchildren; Rachael, Jacob, Grace, Delanie and Grant. John is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Billy Smith, and two sisters, Betty Pilcher and Dixie Smith.
A funeral service for Mr. Smith was held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Fayette, with Pastor Walter Snyder officiating. Visitation was from 5-7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at Friemonth-Freese Funeral Home in Fayette. Burial followed the funeral at Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery in Forest Green, Mo.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Shepherd of the Hills Church or Fayette Optimist Youth Sports Program, in care of the funeral home.