john lee smitherman

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:30 AM Tuesday, May 27, 2008, in the Frontier Chapel Center, Fort Sill. Major Smitherman died Monday in a local care center. Burial with full military honors will be in the Fort Sill National Cemetery, Elgin, under the direction of the Becker Funeral Home. He was born on September 29, 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri to John S. and Lottie (Lee) Smitherman. He grew up in Kansas City and graduated high school there. He served in the US Army for more than twenty years and was a veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He retired on August 31, 1962 at Fort Hood, Texas. He received numerous medals including the European African Middle-Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Germany and Japan), Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Distinguished Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Korean Service Medal with one Silver Service Star and two Bronze Service Stars, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Emblem and the Army Commendation Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster. He married Giselinde Hock in Wichita Falls, Texas on December 19, 1968. He worked for AAFES as a service operations manager for 22 years before retiring in 1986. He was a Catholic, a Shriner, a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Military Officers Association.
Survivors include his wife of the home; a daughter, Sharon Smitherman of Lawton; two sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Hock and Renate Lebert, both of Germany; a special niece, Alexandra Lebert of Germany; a God son, Dennis Lebert of Germany; a cousin from Missouri; numerous other nieces and nephews; and a special friend and God father, Roy Cruz of Lawton. His parents preceded him in death. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lawton/Fort Sill Veteran's Center, 501 SE Flower Mound Road, Lawton, Oklahoma 73501 or to the charity of the donor's choice.