John F. Smith, age 51, of Oro Valley, Arizona, died March 29, 2013, at his home after a courageous battle with cancer.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Tuesday, April 2, at Vistoso Funeral Home in Oro Valley, AZ. A Memorial Mass for John will be at 11:00 am Friday, April 5, 2013 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson, Iowa with burial at St. Joseph’s Cemetery
John was born on February 2, 1962, in Nevada, Iowa, the son of John and Karen Smith. He grew up in Jefferson, Iowa, where he graduated from high school in 1980.
John completed his B.S. in Animal Science in 1984 and his M.S. in 1986 at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. In 1989, he completed his Ph.D. in Dairy Science at the University of Missouri.
From 1989 to 1995, John was an Extension Dairy Specialist, Associate Professor, at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He then continued his career at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, as an Extension Dairy Specialist, Professor, from 1995 to 2011. In 2011, John moved to Arizona to finish out his career at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.
John worked throughout the United States and internationally assisting producers with the development of efficient dairy operations. In 1993 and 1994, John was awarded the Salt of the Earth Award from the Dairy Producers of New Mexico, In 2000 he was awarded the Midwest Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award, in 2002 the DeLaval Dairy Extension award, in 2008 he was selected as Western Dairy Business Magazine’s Outstanding Dairy Educator/Researcher, and in 2010 John was recognized with the Jefferson Iowa Bell Tower of Fame Award for his efforts in dairy education and research. He was a Co-Founder of the Western Dairy Management Conference.
John was a lifelong hunter and fisherman. He was also an avid fan of the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats and the Kansas State University Wildcats. His greatest love, however, was spending time with his two beautiful daughters.
On August 10, 1985, John married Debbie Schieber. She survives him of the home. Additional survivors include their two daughters: Jordan Smith of Corvallis, Oregon, and Hope Smith of the home; his parents, John and Karen Smith of Jefferson, Iowa; three sisters, Rhonda (Joe) Coffman of Carroll, Iowa, Debbie (Bob) Sees of Lee’s Summit, MO, and Diane Smith of Wichita, KS, many dear in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
A scholarship for Animal Science majors at Northwest Missouri State University has been established in memory of John. Memorial contributions may be made to “Northwest Foundation - John F. Smith Memorial Scholarship” and mailed to the Northwest Foundation, 800 University Dr., Maryville, MO 64468.
For Information or to sign the online guestbook visit www.VistosoFH.com 520-544-2285
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