John Edward Smithers, LaFollette

John Edward Smithers, 86, of LaFollette, passed away Tuesday, April 4.  Loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and brother-in-law.  He was a member of FBC of Jacksboro, UMW Local 1569, and the Masonic Lodge.  Known to family and friends as “John Ed” and Papa, he enjoyed a 26-year retirement from coal mining. His retirement allowed the opportunities to be an extra in the film October Sky and work on the restoration of the WWII fighter plane, Glacier Girl. A self- taught mechanic, John was known for his skills on Volkswagen autos and building dune buggies. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, music, western movies, and spending time with his grandchildren.
Preceded in death by his cherished wife of 63 years, Lillian Armes Smithers.  Parents, John J. and Hazel Smithers, sisters – Shirley Smithers and Colleen Byrd. John is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law, Mike and Marie Smithers and Jeff and Lois Ann Smithers. Grandchildren  – Amy Smithers (Aaron Powell fiance’), Emily Raulston (Andrew), Molly Starbird (Steven), Jake Smithers, and Abbey Smithers.   Great grandchildren Tori Blankenship, Liam Starbird, and Jack Raulston.  Sisters – Francois Roberts and Lois Underwood.  John also leaves behind close relationships with his sisters-in-law – Lydia Hatmaker, Loretta Woods, Dr. Deana Parks, and brothers-in-law, Virgil Armes and Freddy Armes.
Our family is very appreciative of Alexander Guest House staff, Lila Curry, Gail Disney, and Pam Romiq for their devotion, friendships, and loving care.
The family will receive friends from 12 -1:45 PM Saturday, April 8 at Hatmaker Funeral Home in Lake City, with a funeral service to follow at 2 PM.  Interment to follow at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens in LaFollette, Tennessee.
You may also view John Ed’s guestbook online at
Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, TN is in charge of arrangements.

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