John Riley SmithApril 27, 1922 ~ December 4, 2017 (age 95)
John Riley Smith
April 27, 1922 - December 4, 2017
John Riley Smith, beloved father, grandfather, great grandfather, and great, great grandfather passed away in San Antonio, Texas on Monday, December 4, 2017 at the age of 95.
He was born in Paris, Arkansas. After graduation from Paris High School in 1940 enlisted in the US Army Field Artillery, and was selected for Army Air Corps flight training. Flight training took place throughout Texas in San Antonio, Stamford, Brownwood and Lubbock.
While in Brownwood, John met Allene Mauldin. They were married in Clovis, NM after he received his pilots wings.
Commanding a B24 Liberator as part of the 15th Air Force, 454th Bombardment Group he was stationed at the Cerignola Airbase in San Giovanni Italy. John’s B24 aircraft “STANDBY” was shot down on April 13, 1943. After spending thirteen months in Stalag Luft III he was liberated by General George Patton. He returned to Arkansas and earned a degree at the University of Arkansas in 1949.
He was employed by Hughes Aircraft in Los Angeles working on electronics and defense sytems until his retirement in 1977. He moved to Cisco, TX to achieve a life-long goal of owning and operating a farm and ranch. He and Allene were actively involved in the Cisco Church of Christ, ranching and operating a small business.
John and Allene retired again to move to Abilene and lived in the Mesa Springs Retirement Center in 2002. He was honored to be the Grand Marshall of the 2012 Abilene Veterans Day Parade. He moved to San Antonio in 2015.
John is survived by his daughter Paula, and husband William Sims of San Antonio. Grandsons John and Brad Sims. John’s wife Laura, and stepson Trenton Baker and wife Samantha and their children Triston and Sophie. Brad’s wife Jo and their children Braden and Riley. Also, many nieces and nephews who have enriched his life.
Funeral services, officiated by Tony Mauldin will be held at the Kimbrough Funeral Home in Cisco, on Saturday December 9, 2017 at 10:30am. Burial will follow at 3:30pm at Eastlawn Memorial Park, in Early, TX.
Memorials may be made to Lake Cisco Christian Camp, P.O. Box 629, Cisco, TX 76437.