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John Wilson Smith, 89, died Dec. 4, 2012, in Houston, Texas.

He was born Dec. 16, 1922, in Centropolis to Edward Leland Smith and Edna Mae Howser Smith of Centropolis. Both are deceased.

Survivors include his devoted and loving wife of 63 years, Betty Irene Mohler; brother, Alvin Smith, Mission, Texas, and Centropolis; and sister, Martha Mohler, Buhler; six children, Rebecca Ann Jensen, Katy, Texas, Ruth Diane, Houston, Texas, Philip Eugene, Stafford, Va., Stephen Paul, Houston, Texas, David Allen, Morgan City, Calif., and Jonathan Edward, Houston, Texas; 12 grandchildren, Amanda Valverde, Benjamin Shrum, Brianna Leigh Holmes, Michelle Smith, Caroline Paige Evans, Ryan Kendall Smith, Keith Jensen, Emily Irene Smith, Kyle Smith, Zachary Ian Smith, Kevin Smith and Corey Smith; seven great-grandchildren, Angelina Valverde, Cetea Valverde, Taro Valverde, Benjamin Shrum, Lilly Brees Evans, Harper Jack Holmes and Caeden Ryan Smith.

John married Betty in 1949 and became a Christian in Centropolis Baptist Church in 1951, largely because of the testimony of Betty and Loren Mohler.

Besides being a son, brother, husband, parent, nephew, uncle, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, John enjoyed his life as a farmer in Centropolis, salesman in Warrenton, Mo., Baptist minister in Valley Falls, Lawrence and Meriden, and self-employed handyman and carpenter in Houston, Texas. He enjoyed woodworking and crafting many pieces of furniture with his own hands for his family and for many local residents in Houston, Texas, during the 20 years he owned Smith and Sons. During the 1950s and 1960s, he built the physical church buildings and pastored for the Valley Falls Bible Baptist Church and Meriden Baptist Church, which still stands.

He enjoyed working with machinery and took great pride and joy in keeping his vehicles and tools in good condition. Most of all, he enjoyed reading and studying the Bible and witnessing to anyone within earshot, especially those he visited and those who visited him. He was a quiet man publicly, but was often determined in his expression of what the Christian life meant to him.

He would want anyone reading this to know the most important decision one can make in this life is to believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth as the God-Man to pay the penalty for your sin and that to inherit eternal life with Him, you must believe John 3:16. Jesus saves.

John donated his body to the Baylor College of Medicine. Contributions to the family may be made through West Houston Bible Church, 1500 Sam Houston Parkway N. Suite 104, Houston TX 77043.

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