In Memory

John D. Smith

6/6/47 - 2/29/2020

Dr. John Douglas Smith died peacefully at home on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

He was loved by his wife of 51 years, Dianne (Charles) Smith; his son, Daniel; his daughter, Kelly Lesser, her husband Michael Lesser; and his grandchildren Charles and Emily Lesser.

John was born on June 6th, 1947 in Charleston, Illinois, the only child of Hamilton and Irene (Cannon) Smith, he was a lifelong resident of Omaha. John is also preceded by Duffy, Buttercup, Buford, and Max (A silly little runt of a Pug and a distinguished series of English Bulldogs, respectively), with all of whom he shared mutual adoration.

He graduated in 1965 from Westside High. Like his parents, he was a lifelong educator for the Omaha Public Schools. After teaching English and History at South High from 1969-1972, John moved into district level administration as a community counselor, in the personnel department, Board of Education secretary’s office, office of the superintendent, and chief negotiator, first at Joslyn Castle, and later at TAC. During this time, John also earned a Masters from UNO and a Doctorate in Education from UNL. He retired as Assistant Superintendent of Business Services in 2002, after 33 years of service. John was an active member of numerous professional organizations, including Life Membership in the Urban League of Nebraska.

In addition to his professional career, John and Dianne had years of adventures traveling around in their motor homes eventually returning every year to their favorite spot on South Padre Island. John always doted on his vehicles, especially his Corvettes and his Harley. He also enjoyed active participation in Cornhusker Corvette Club, Heartland Corvette Association, serving as Governor in the National Council of Corvette Clubs, and HOG. Most of all good times with friends, scotch, and cigars. John spent his final years crushing crossword puzzles while waging his personal war against AL Amyloidosis.

Please join the family on Wednesday at 11am at the Pacific Street Chapel for a light lunch followed by a Sharing of Memories of John's life.

The Burial will be at 1:30pm at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Omaha Schools Foundation for the Omaha South High expansion.

John A. Gentleman Mortuaries & Crematory Pacific Street Chapel 14151 Pacific Street 402-391-1664 |