John Clinton Smith, D.Min.
On Friday, February 6, 1953, a beautiful baby boy named John Clinton Smith was born to Dorothy Mae McRae and Howard “T” Smith. He was the third child born into their family and was named “John” after his maternal grandfather and “Clinton” after his paternal grandfather. Later in life, John was also parented by Cecil Softli, when he married Dorothy Mae.
As a native of Seattle, Washington, John received his formal education through the Seattle Public School system by attending Madrona Elementary School, Meany Junior High School and Garfield High School. As a senior in 1971, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines, where his affinity for the military, protocol and organization was cultivated.
His mother, Dorothy Mae, instilled a great love for family in him and he cherished his diverse roles as a Brother, Cousin, Uncle, Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather. If possible, there wasn’t anything he would not do for his family.
Professionally, Dr. Smith had dual military status. After his discharge from the Marines, he later enlisted in the Army in 2003, where he excelled through the ranks and ultimately retired as a highly decorated Sargent Major in 2009. Additionally, he retired as a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officer and was a serial entrepreneur of a hotdog stand, real estate holdings, and a notary service, to name a few.
He was a life-long learner, committed to improving, overcoming and challenging himself to grow. In September of 2007, he rededicated his life to Christ and joined Restoration Life Church, where his niece and nephew had been assigned to pastor. As their uncle, he shared his wisdom, serving as Trustee Board Chair and other areas to assist in organizing the church. He enrolled in the A. L. Hardy of Academy of Theology and received his Associates Degree of Theology in 2011. After continuing to matriculate, he received his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2017. In 2015, his pastor, LaMont Williams released him on a temporary assignment to go assist Bishop Hardy (whose health was failing) at the Rose of Sharon Church. He took great pride in serving in excellence until his assignment recently ended.
Our family describes him as Disciplined, Genuine, Patient, Well-dressed, Unconditionally Loving, a Planner, Transformed, Generous and an Expert Camper. His favorite scripture was Psalms 23, favorite color was purple, and his favorite song was “it is well with my soul”.
Early Thursday morning on February 11, 2021, shortly after all his children had gathered together around his bedside, Dr. Smith took his final breath. His brief, unexpected, struggle with disease ended as quickly as it began.
Continuing their Father’s legacy are 6 remaining children: Angel Smith, Shawna (Smith) Johnson (husband-Mike), Jontae Clinton Smith (wife-Angel), Rhonda Q. Smith, Sir Clinton Smith, Zaria Smith (all in the Seattle area); 2 brothers, Howard Smith and Larry Welch (all in the Seattle area), 18 Grandchildren, 2 Great-Grandchildren, and a host of Cousins, Nieces, Nephews & loved ones across the country.
Dr. Smith was preceded in death by his parents Howard Smith (1984) and Cecil & Dorothy Softli (both in 2005); 2 sisters: Martha Ann Moore (2011) and Julie Softli (2015); and 1 son: John Charles Smith (2013).
We will miss his love, laughter and life here with us, but now he has gone Home to be with his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
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