John W. (Johnny) Smith Jr

John W. (Johnny) Smith, Jr., 80, of Houston, passed away Monday, August 22, 2016 at his residence.

A celebration of his life will be held 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 26, 2016 at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Nassau Bay.

 

He is preceded in death by father, John Smith and mother, Ruth Smith and grandson, Christopher Quinn Smith.

 

Survivors include his bride of 36 years, Royce Ann Smith; Sons, Robert (Bubba) Lanning and wife, Mary Lou of Orange, Texas, Lance Smith of Beaumont, Texas, Clifford Smith and wife, Teri, of Katy, Texas, Jeff Smith of Houston, Texas; Daughter, Lisa Alexander and husband, Steve of Tiki Island, Texas; 7 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and Sister, Nancy Bauer of Mason, Texas.

 

Johnny Smith was born in Pt. Arthur, TX on May 21, 1936. His family moved to Houston in 1940. John graduated from Lamar High School in Houston in 1954. John also attended Texas A&M University for two years beginning in 1955 and was a member of the Corps of Cadets.

 

John started his career selling automobiles in the early 1960’s in Orange, TX. He then pursued his dream of owning his own car dealership and opened up Smith-Lee Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Toyota in Orange in 1978, with a great friend and business partner. In 1982, Johnny decided to expand the business, so he moved to Texas City, TX and opened Johnny Smith Oldsmobile, Chevrolet and Toyota. He became well known for his tag line in television commercials, when he said, “We’re not far, from wherever you are, and that’s no Bull!” Johnny retired from the car business in 1988 and started the next chapter of his professional career in financial planning.   He began working for Aid Association for Lutherans, now called Thrivent.   He went on to earn his CHFC, CLU and AEP designations in the early 90’s and enjoyed great success with the company until his retirement in 2002.

 

Johnny loved many things in his lifetime but first and foremost came God. He joined Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Nassau Bay, TX in 1982 and became a very dedicated member serving in various capacities throughout the next 34 years. He loved Jesus Christ and was never afraid to discuss religion or politics. Johnny loved flying and received his private pilot’s license in the early 80’s. Johnny and Royce Ann had the privilege of great travel and vacation during their 36 years of marriage. Golf, hunting and gun collecting were also hobbies of Johnny’s. Not only did Johnny have great success in business but he was also a very loving husband and father and had many great friendships. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Endowment Fund.

Bridge City

Grant funds area fire district’s needed life-saving tool purchase

Columns

CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Yacht Rock hits the mellow spot

Local

PHOTOS — Large debris on Sabine River causing concerns

Local

Sentencing follows Orange crime spree with shooting at police, tactical team response

Local

ADOPT A PET — Sweet Layla is ready to be silly with your family

Local

Female recovering after being struck by train, fire chief says

Local

10-year anniversary Depot Day planned May 4; check out details including a street dance

Columns

HEALTHY LIVING — Regular exercise creates fitness for body and mind

Local

Mauriceville Heritage Association presents the 43rd Annual Pageant and 2024 Crawfish Bash

Local

Results from Mauriceville Heritage Association’s 43rd Annual Pageant

Local

Area pastor of tornado-damaged church puts strength in faith

Local

Heavy rain Wednesday morning north of Orange could still impact region

Local

Severe weather concerns delay start of school in Orange County

Local

Former Rose City secretary indicted for embezzlement

Local

Renowned bassist, singer-songwriter Scott Mulvahill performing at Lutcher Theater

Local

No arrests yet after teen steals car, crashes into home, police say

Columns

TEXAS CERTIFIED EXPERT GARDENER — Fight these detrimental garden pests causing havoc down under

Local

Weather Service outlines increased severe storm risk for Tuesday and Wednesday

Local

Shangri La Gardens hosting Earth Day celebration at Eco-Fest

Local

Caleb Fergia eyes college baseball and process operating path

Local

Katie Guyote earns first place for state conference Personal Care

Local

PHOTOS — 5th Annual Car Show pulls into Orange

Local

Weather Service shares outlook for severe storms this week across Southeast Texas

Local

Average gas price rises 11.4 cents per gallon in last week in Texas; see what’s expected next