The Reverend John "Harmon" Smith, 93, of Salem, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jackie; and brother, Charles Smith.
Harmon is survived by his dear friend, Mildred Slater; brother, Dick Smith, of Greensboro, NC; two daughters, Judy Riffle and Betty Coleman; three grandchildren, Sue Mecham, Kim Bears and Jim Coleman; twelve great-grandchildren, Michael, Shane, Justin, and Jessica Mecham, David, Joe, Gary, Ian, and Chris Bears, Paige Coleman, Jordan Kirkland, and Angel Watson; and his beagle, Belle.
Harmon was a native of Virginia and grew up in the historic Hilton Village on the James River. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII, earned a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech in 1946, and later earned an MS degree in theology from Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Harmon's passion to help others led him to the mission field in 1962. Harmon, his wife, Jackie, and daughters, Judy and Betty, moved to Tela, Honduras, where he served as a missionary for about 5 years, first in Tela, Honduras, where he ministered as priest of a church and headed up a primary and secondary school, and then in Managua, Nicaragua. After returning to the United States, Harmon pastored the people of churches in Miami, FL, and in Toano, Appomattox, and Glenmore, VA. Since 1989, Harmon has served in several ministry roles at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salem. For many years, he also hosted a weekly worship service at the Virginia Veteran’s Care Center in Roanoke. Harmon’s desire to make the world a better place touched almost everyone he knew. Harmon enjoyed auto mechanics, tennis, and playing his harmonica and guitar. But most of all, he loved all people and animals.
In April of 2018, a celebration of his life will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salem, VA, with the Reverend Dr. Robert T. Copenhaver and the Reverend James Lively presiding. Inurnment will follow in the church columbarium. Service details will be confirmed at a later time.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.johnmoakey.com.