John Anthony William Smith

John Anthony William Smith

January 09, 1934 - May 18, 2023

John Anthony William Smith

January 09, 1934 - May 18, 2023


ln Loving Memory of John Anthony William Smith

John Anthony William Smith, beloved husband, father, teacher, advocate, leader, and coach, peacefully passed away in the presence of his loving wife Charlene on the evening of Thursday, May 18th, 2023, in South Orange County, California. John passed at 89 years young and felt grateful to have lived longer than he had ever imagined.

Born and raised in Southern California, John’s passion for education, personal excellence, and improving the lives of others defined every step of his remarkable journey in this world. He had charisma, presence, conviction, and a missionary zeal for life.

The second youngest of six, John was raised in a hardworking and loving Catholic family. He was a dedicated student and athlete from his years at Mount Carmel High School to his time on UCLA’s 1954 National Championship Football team. John served our country honorably, with two years of service in the U.S. Navy as an Ensign and Lieutenant (j.g.) and an additional ten years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

For 13 years, John worked as a math and science teacher and athletics coach in public and parochial schools. After his teaching career, he joined the California Teachers Association and advocated tirelessly for teachers’ rights for 26 years. John’s bold ideas and unwavering commitment made him a trusted advocate to teachers in need and made him a trailblazer in his field.

John loved being in nature, often packing up the family for camping trips to lakes, forests, mountains, and deserts – ready for any adventure. He was a lover of our U.S. National Parks and often dreamed of getting everyone together for a great time camping, waterskiing, backpacking, snow skiing, or hiking. lnvitations were open to everyone, as long as you promised to “leave the place better than you found it.”

While John Smith had the most common of names, he left you smiling with the most unique lasting impression. Described as fun, encouraging, tenacious, and dedicated, John had a great sense of humor and was a man you could always rely on.

John’s memory will be cherished by all who knew him, and his contributions to this world will continue to resonate for generations to come. With warm hearts, wonderful stories, and a bold Bruin 8-clap, we celebrate John’s inspiring life and open the next chapter of our dear relationship with him in our minds, hearts, and prayers.

John is survived by his wife, Charlene Pearson, and their children Christopher Pearson-Smith and Charles Smith, as well as his first wife Sandra Nash and their children, Jeffrey Smith, Julie Popp, Melissa Smith, Allison Millington, Evan Smith, and his sister Margret Moyneur.

John’s Celebration of Life will be held this July in Southern California:
In Loving Memory
Celebration of Life
3:00-6:00 P.M.
July 23, 2023
Inn at the Mission, Hotel
26907 Old Mission Road
San Juan Capistrano



Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: July 23, 2023 (3:00 PM - 6:00 PM)
  • Venue: Inn At The Mission San Juan Capistrano
  • Location: 26907 Old Mission Rd. San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 - (Get Directions)

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