john leslie smitherman 

John Leslie "Les" Smitherman of Carmel died Tuesday at the Community Hospital of Monterery Penisula after a brief battle with cancer.  He was 44.

Mr. Smitherman  was  a native of Springfield, Mo., and recently moved to Carmel.  He graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor of arts degree and from the University of New York with a degree in computer science.

Mr. Smitherman was a chief warrant officer in the Navy,  He had been assistant officer in charge of the Naval Security Group Detachment at the Defense Language Institute of Monterey.  He served two tours in Vietnam.  Mr Smitherman wass a member of the Navy SEALS.  He was awarded the Purple Heart with two Bronze Stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal as well as numerous campaign and service awards.  He received his commission as chief warrant officer in 1986.

Mr Smitherman is survived by his wife, Ann Smitherman of Carmel; his son, Scot Smitherman of Edinburgh, Scotland; his mother, Shirley Bass of MIssouri; his two brothers, Robert Bass and Sim Smitherman, both of Missouri; and his sister, Donna Smitherman of Missouri.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Monday at the Church in the Forest in Pebble Beach.  Private cremation will take place under the direction of The Paul Mortuary.  His ashes will be scattered at sea.  The family suggests that memorial contributions be sent to the Navy Relief Fund, c/o NSGD, Presidio of Monterey, Monterey 93944-5005 or the Hospics of the Central Coast.