Service Date November 2, 2019
Funeral Services with full military honors for “J” “B” will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. at Piasecki Funeral Home. Private entombment will be held in All Saints Mausoleum. A visitation for “J” “B” will be held on Saturday, November 2nd from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, Inc., PO Box 867, Menomonee Falls, WI 53052 or the Gary Sinise Foundation, PO Box 368, Woodland Hills, CA, 91365 would be appreciated by the family.
“J” “B” Smith, age 89, of Kenosha, died on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019, at Kenosha Hospice Alliance, with his loving family by his side.
Born on July 27th, 1930, in Perry County Tennessee, he was one of four children born to the late Grady and Mildred (nee: Worley) Smith. “J” “B” attended schools in Perry County and graduated from Perry County High School.
He joined the US Navy after high school and served 23 years achieving the rank of LCDR before retiring in 1971.
During his naval career, he met the love of his life who worked at Great Lakes Naval Base, Charlene Swanningson and they were married on November 24th, 1956 in Great Lakes, Ill. She brought a special sparkle to his eyes that never faded, and she was a proud Navy wife. Their marriage extended beyond 58 years and their family continued to grow.
“J” “B” thoroughly loved spending time with his family and loved to gather his children and grandchildren. He was very active at St Thomas Church, in the parish council, ushering, and as a lector. He worked at Miller Brewing as part of the team that bottled the first bottle of Miller Lite.
His retirement included duck carving, golf and caretaking for his grandchildren and wife. He had a special knack to calm a crying baby when no one else could. In 2013 he had the special privilege of being on the first Stars and Stripes Honor Flight for Korean War Veterans. He truly lived as if “Everyday was a Bonus”.
He is survived by his children, Christopher Smith of Kenosha, Elizabeth (Paul) Albers of Sturtevant, and Morrianne Rockwell of Kenosha; grandchildren, Lauren (Alex) Totts, Amy and Megan Smith, Bennett Albers, Grace and Logan Heide, Collin and Carson Rockwell and his brother, Doris Smith.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Charlene and his sisters Argie and Maggie.