John D. Smutz Sr., 97, of Salina, passed away Tuesday, February 21, 2023. He was born March 11, 1925, on a farm in Pawnee City, NE to William Walter and Esther Amelia (Bennett) Smutz. He attended grade school in a one room country school in Pawnee City, NE. He received his formal education at the University of Nebraska, he was a member of ATO fraternity, Northwestern University and Penn State, where he graduated with a bachelor’s in architectural engineering.
John was a candidate at the Marine Corp Academy at Quantico, Virginia, and received his commission. He served in the Marine Corp during WWII and later in the Korean War, as a rifle platoon leader. While stationed at a Naval Ammunition Dept in Virginia, he met his future wife, Helen, a secretary at the munition plant. Shortly thereafter, John was transferred to a NAD in Hastings, Nebraska, for release to inactive duty. Helen joined him later, and they were married in Pawnee City, in 1946. After returning from Korea, he and his family moved to Salina, where he was in partnership with Shaver Architects and Wilson&Co. Engineer and Architects. John designed churches, schools, and buildings throughout the country, including several in Salina.
John was a lifetime member of the VFW, the American Legion, and a charter member of the Marine Corps League, a longtime member of Salina Country Club and First Presbyterian Church. He was also an instrument and commercial rated pilot with over 7,000 hours of flying time in nearly every type of aircraft, including his company’s twin engine King Air.
He is preceded in death by his parents; three brothers; and a sister.
He leaves his wife of nearly 77 years, two daughters, Susan Timbrook (Dan), Sharon Guettermann (Norm); two sons, John Jr. (Alta) and Kenny (Stacey); nine grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Sunday, February 26. Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Monday, February 27, all at Ryan Mortuary. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to Salina Presbyterian Manor Good Samaritan Fund, in care of Ryan Mortuary.