John David Smith was born on August 16, 1920, in Clyde, Texas, moving to Slaton and then to Lubbock where he graduated from Lubbock High School in 1938. He attended Texas Tech two years before joining the Merchant Marines where he graduated with honors from Naval Officer’s Training School in New Haven, CT. John bravely served his country in WW II on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans before returning to Lubbock when the war ended.
For over fifty years, John was a leader in the Texas Restaurant Association, where he inspired and mentored many people to successfully be involved in the restaurant industry. His best known restaurant was the Sirloin for Steaks – prime beef steakhouse, where he introduced his famous “Cheese Roll” to West Texas.
He was a Lubbock Shriner and 32nd Degree Mason, having recently received his 75 year pin. John was a member of the Yellowhouse Masonic Lodge. He also served leadership roles with Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, and various city baseball leagues, as well as the South Plains Christian Fellowship, Trinity Church, Church of the Harvest, and First United Methodist Church. He was a graduate of the Trinity Bible School, taught Sunday school for many years and the Outreach Chaplain for over ten years for South Plains Christian Fellowship. John was known for his slogan: “STAY CLOSE TO THE LORD”.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John D. Smith Sr. and Frankie Boyd Smith; his brother, Frank B. Smith and sister-in-law, Marjorie Stone Smith; wife, Pauline Houston Smith; and his beloved companion in later life, Coena Hutchins Nichols.
Left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Gloria and husband, Mark Conley; son, Kenneth Smith and wife, Terry; 12 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
John D. Smith was known for his winning smile and excellent health. IT was his wish to donate his body to the Texas Tech Medical School, with the comment that he believed “the medical students would learn from a healthy 96 year old, who had never had medication.”
The family wants to express the heartfelt thanks to the doctors, nurses, and caregivers whom we have had the opportunity of working with these past six months.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Accolade Hospice-Lubbock, or to the Living Word Church, Pastors Barry and Renee Tilley, along with Pastor Jack Hargrave who brought the church to John in his home every week his last six months on this earth. We are grateful for their ministry in music, prayer, and fellowship in honoring John D. Smith – a Christian man of integrity, remembering him when every time he said goodbye, he said: “STAY CLOSE TO THE LORD”.