TAPS John C. Smith Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio

Submitted by ANGELnWard14 on Sun, 12/28/2014 - 02:50.


RIP John C. Smith Jr., my veteran neighbor friend from West 112th Street. You will be missed and remembered well. May you rest in peace and be reunited with many who went before you in life! I am certain you are up there visiting with my dad and watching over us all.

Dianna Hill's photo.

Dianna Hill's photo.

Dianna Hill's photo.

Dianna Hill's photo.

















Dianna Hill's photo.





I could always expect you to arrive on the porch whenever I made it home. I could depend on you to feed my cat or work with my Uncle to keep an eye on things at my house when I was away. You offered your tools, help, and consideration wherever you had the capacity. When Dad would come and visit; you'd stop by and hang out with him and chat for hours. When Dad was in the VA Hospital; you went and sat with him doing "nightshift" at the VA making sure he was not alone at the hospital. When he was home and I needed a break; you rode your bicycle across the West Side to sit with Dad so I could run errands. Dad always asked about you and really did enjoy yapping and arguing with you.-intellectually speaking..lol.  Dad really appreciated your friendship and that you tried to keep an eye out for our family.

Many folks didn't understand our friendship; but I can remember your calls and visits; to "check on us". If I needed a little help; you attempted to help in your own way. The last time I did see you; we shared a grace meal at my house in October. I remember the day we first met (directly instead of indirectly) at the corner store and you laughed because someone had told you that I was a racist and you realized I was not...lmao...boy did we cackle and laugh all the way back down the street about the drama in life. I remember you calling me, "D" and saying, "what's up? are you okay?" many many times...especially during the journey with my father through his death and thereafter.

In life we meet folks who "appear" to be worthless from the outside... John was a simple middle aged, educated black gentleman who had served our great nation and was a veteran. He came from a good upper middle class family. He owned his own landscaping company and he owned his own home on our street for over 20 years.

John's death is senseless in my opinion. He is only 1 of the 1% who cared about his community; who valued human life; and who watched the demise implode his world. He was imperfect and had a funny way about him. He delighted in an arbitrary discussion and was proud despite his circumstances. I appreciated his life and watchdog mentality and friendship along the line. I am so very sad that he is gone. His absence is a reflection of the constant change we all must endure.  May his soul rest in peace and may he enjoy some great reunions in heaven. The sound of his chuckle and laughter still replay in my head.... Please keep this soldier, John,  and his family in your prayers. Thank you all.

 Check your elderly, disabled, and challenged neighbors... Care about your fellow human beings. Life is too short. Don't judge books by their cover. In meeting John; I met a person with great intellectual capacity and humanity. He was proud of his accomplishments and his home which he tried to sustain against all odds of toxic life around him. All I can say is that I had a good neighbor. When they were not answering their phone- I called the police to do a welfare check. When that failed; I couldn't rest til I found his family. Sadly; the result was his Next of Kin breaking in the door to ultimately find him in the house deceased. I am so very tragically sad over the entire result. I knew in my gut something was wrong.


Please keep tabs with your neighbors, friends, and family. Life is too short. My heart aches to know he is gone; but prayerfully he is reunited and enjoying peace in heaven. This veteran most likely qualified for all types of public resources, grants, and assistance. He wanted to do things himself and show the world his capacity. John's pride refused much help. He was so very independent. Ughs.

I don't know all the results as to the why or how he died. While I am curious; none of it will bring him back. I have to put it all in God's hands and pray that the people on earth follow through on all the finite details. For now, I am praying for his family.


May John rest in peace.


( categories: )


You were a vegan.  I learned about some new eating dynamics because of you.

You were a horticulturist. My rose garden was appreciated by you and you valiantly tried to help me save them from disease last year.

My uncle was always fixing cars at my house. You always offered tools to assist with missions.

People would arrive to my house; you would call me to let me know someone was outside.

I would sit on the porch in the warmer weather. You would always stop by with your dog and even your cat. Oh how I remember you literally "Walking your dog with your loyal gray cat following behind".

When my dad visited me. You would arrive and sit with him for hours talking world politics.

When you worked everyday; I knew your coming and goings by the sound of your pick up truck and trailer passing my house.

When your car broke down; you remained mobile by riding a bicycle.

When it was too cold for your bike, you walked everywhere.

When you tried to rebuild your home; we shared countless communications about it.

When life was rough; we shared many meals and food together.

You took great joy in dressing well and feeling good about yourself when days were better.

You prided yourself in being able to take care of your own business. You lived meagerly to survive when times were rough.

I didn't know your entire history; just the currency of our friendship over a couple years. Your saw the goodness in life.

I miss your presence in our world. I miss knowing you were always there to look out for me and the kids. I miss you so very much.


Our world was a better place with you in it! Hugs to heaven for you! I wish I could understand God's reason and rhyme.


So many times we shared neighborly exchanges.


Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"