In Memory

John Smerekanich - Class Of 1965

John Smerekanich

Dec. 27, 1946 - Aug. 12, 2016

OSCEOLA - John Smerekanich Sr., 69, of Osceola, died 6:01 p.m. Friday, August 12, 2016, at his residence. He was born December 27, 1946, in South Bend, to Frank and Eugenia (Penzenik) Smerekanich. He was married to Eva Gratzol in 1968 and they then divorced in 1991. He later married Ilona “Boots” Riffle, and they divorced in 2004.

Surviving are his daughter and son-in-law, Pati and Roger Goss of Wakarusa; son, John Smerekanich Jr. of Osceola; brothers, Ted (Barbara) Smerekanich of Lakeside, Arizona, and Andre Smerekanich of South Bend; and a granddaughter, Tailer Smerekanich of Plymouth. Preceding him in death were his parents.

John served in the U.S. Navy and was discharged in 1965. He was a 1965 graduate of South Bend Central High School and a 1968 graduate of Howard W. Sams with an Associate Degree in Electronics. He retired from the Indiana Toll Road where he was the roadway maintenance superintendent. He also retired from being the Cochise County Solid Waste Inspector where he investigated illegal dumpings in the county as to the perpetrator, and often times he was responsible for overseeing the cleaning up of the illegal dump site grounds. He loved his two Chihuahuas, Pita and Tinker, his 1974 Corvette, and golfing. The family would like to thank nurses Karrie and Laura, and PTs Andy and Toni at Miller's Merry Manor in Wakarusa, AseraCare Hospice, Heather and Michell from Visiting Angels, and Pastor Chris Knight of the Wakarusa Missionary Church for the time he spent with John.

There will be no public services; the family and close friends will gather at a later date. John has been cremated and his ashes will be buried at Evergreen Cemetery (Bisbee City Cemetery) in Arizona with his mom and dad.

Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret-Lienhart Funeral Home, Wakarusa, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to

Published in South Bend Tribune on Aug. 21, 2016

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