John William Smith, 44, of Scottsville, Virginia, formerly of Bolar, Virginia, passed away on Monday, June 17, 2024, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

He was born on April 10, 1980, in Hot Springs, Virginia, a son of Katherine Elizabeth (Liesfeld) Smith of Bolar, Virginia and the late William Sidney Smith.

John attended schools in Bath County, graduating with honors from the Bath County High School class of 1998. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from John Tyler Community College, class of 2003, with an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science/Funeral Service.

He completed his apprenticeship under the tutelage of John Young of McLaughlin & Young Funeral Home in Hot Springs. After graduation, he became the manager of Craigsville, Sensabaugh & Zimmerman Funeral Home in Craigsville. He then went on to manage Thacker Brothers Funeral Home in Scottsville for nearly ten years before leaving the funeral service industry. Since October of 2020, John worked in Patient Transportation at the University of Virginia Hospital. Although he liked helping patients at UVA, his greatest love was taking care of the grieving family members of those who had died and were in his care. He was dedicated to the funeral service profession and was well known for his excellent embalming skills.

Special thanks to John and Debbie Young, the Bliley family, and Bradley and Yvonne Howdyshell for the opportunities to work at their firms.

John was a former member of the Bolar Ruritan Club of which his father, Bill, was a founding charter member. He was a former member of the Craigsville and Scottsville Lions Clubs, having served as President of the Scottsville Club. John was born and raised in the Catholic Church but also attended services at other area churches of different denominations wherever he lived throughout the years. Joyful Sound Church in Augusta Springs, where he played drums in the praise and worship band and the Scottsville United Methodist Church where he served as a Trustee and was a member of the United Methodist Men were two congregations near and dear to his heart. He also enjoyed camping, fishing, going to concerts, and amusement parks.

In addition to his mother, Katherine “Katie” Smith of Scottsville, survivors include two children, Austin Harley and Addison Rose Smith of Craigsville; a host of cousins and many friends too numerous to mention.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at Thacker Brothers Scottsville Funeral Home.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at St. George Catholic Church in Scottsville, with the Reverend David Mott as Celebrant. Thacker Brothers Scottsville Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2024, at the Warm Springs Cemetery in Bath County. McLaughlin & Young Funeral Home will be handling the Graveside service.

The family would like to thank Dr. Tri Le and all the staff at the Emily Couric Cancer Center at UVA and the nurses and staff of Hospice of the Piedmont for their care during John’s final months. Also special thanks to family friends, Duane and Trevelyn Karr, Steven Meeks, and Jay Feng for transportation to and from chemotherapy and doctors’ appointments; Mary Curtis Ott and other members of the Scottsville UMC for all the food and gifts that they brought to John and Katie over the last several years; Ms. Lillian Taylor for helping to keep the house clean and organized when John was no longer able to do it; Helen Crowley for caring for Katie when John was at work and during his illness; and to Dorothy and Wendy West for opening up their hearts and home to John and Katie and their exceptional care for the last couple of years. There are many others who have helped out along the way and your acts of kindness will never be forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Hospice of the Piedmont, 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 300, Charlottesville, VA 22911.





  1. So very sorry to John’s children and his Mom and family and friends. This man always could make me smile no matter where you saw him. He was always willing to lend a hand or offer encouragement. Gone waybtoo soon but I know he is no longer suffering. I know he is now residing in his Heavenly home. Our prayers and love are being sent to each of you. May God wrap His arms around you, bring comfort and strength to you as you try to get thru the dark days ahead. Rest easy John, we will never forget you.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Donna Harmon and family

  2. John you always be a good friend. It was fun playing percussion right beside you in the marching band. The baseball team we played on together. Camp Accovac was fun. You will be missed my friend. Rest easy now until we meet again my friend.

  3. I’m sending my deepest sympathy to Katie and the children. John was a very special person. He was a wonderful student and later a good friend. Sorry he has been ill so much of his life. There is comfort knowing he is no longer in pain. My prayers are with you as you move forward.

  4. My deepest sympathy on the loss of John


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