Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, July 08

Obituary: John Smithson

John Smithson, 87, died Sunday, May 22, 2011 in Flagstaff, Ariz. Mr. Smithson was born on April 17, 1924 in Claypool Gila County Arizona.

John served in World War II and was a chiropractor in Flagstaff for 33 years. He served as a bishop, and patriarch in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served as a branch president in Cameron, Ariz., and went on a mission with his wife Ida to Chickasha, Okla. For 11 years he weekly visited prisoners at the Coconino County Jail.

Ida preceded him in death on Jan. 21, 2009. John was a founding member of the Flagstaff Optimist Club, member of the Flagstaff Hiking Club, Toastmasters Club, and Flagstaff Photography Club.

He is survived by his angel wife Rita McCoy Smithson; and four children Joanna Abner, Kerry L. Smithson, Geraldine Sauser, and Allen J. Smithson as well as 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, five stepchildren, 29 step-grandchildren, and 33 step-great-grandchildren.

A visitation was held at Norvel Owens Mortuary on Friday, May 27, 2011. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center, 625 E. Cherry in Flagstaff. In honor of John, his family requested those in attendance tie their tie like he did. Burial followed with military honors at the Citizens Cemetery. Condolences can be sent to the family at

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