KEWANEE - J.C. entered this world on January 6, 1936 in Haywood County, TN and departed on February 19, 2014 at the age of 78. He was the second of eight children born to Dupree and Lue Lillie Bond Smith.
In 1956 he left Tennessee and moved to Kewanee to pursue work opportunities. He returned to Tennessee to claim his wife, Anna Mae Mann Smith and married her May 5, 1956 in Corinth, MS. He later returned to Kewanee and worked at Walworth and McBroom Motors and a tire shop before getting hired at I.H. Farmall Plant in Rock Island in 1965 where he was a member of the UAW. He also worked off and on at Kewanee Motors as a mechanic and car salesman, at Kewanee Machinery and Conveyor and had served the Kewanee community as a barber. His employment and hard work provided him means to build a 4-bedroom house from the ground up for his family in 1966, located on W. Division St. in Kewanee. In 1985 I.H. became Navistar and J.C. retired in 1996 after a total of 30 years of service. In 1998 J.C. and Anna Mae moved to Rock Island. He was a longtime member and Deacon of the Second Baptist Church in Kewanee and had sang with the gospel group, the Pilgrim Wonders, back in the 1960's.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, their four children, James Alvin of Normal, IL, Odean John, Doris Ann and Norita Jo, all of Rock Island, twelve grandchildren, Erica Smith of Dallas, TX, Anica Smith, Jennifer Smith and Aaron Smith, all of Normal, IL, Tanya Smith and Tarah Smith, both of St. Louis, MO, Alexa Smith of Bettendorf, IA, Terel Smith, Chadd Dixon and Jamar Dixon, all of Rock Island and Jamelle and Jasmine Smith, both of Canada, his brothers, Charles D. (Virgie) Smith of Topeka, KS, Ollie Roy Smith of Galesburg, Tommie L. Smith of Topeka, KS and Robert T. Smith of Bloomington, IL, his sisters, Evelyn Louise Smith and Mary Smith, both of Galesburg, fourteen great grandchildren, a host of nieces and nephews, an aunt, Mother Florence Reed and a special friend, John Hemphill of Kewanee. He was preceded in death by his parents, an older brother, James Smith and son, Michael Charles Smith.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM, Monday, February 24 at the First United Methodist Church in Kewanee. Rev. Lawrence Anderson of the Second Baptist Church will officiate. Visitation will be held from 11:00 AM until the time of the service at the church. Burial will be in Evergreen Memory Gardens in rural Kewanee. Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee is in charge of arrangements. This obituary may be viewed and private condolences left at www.ruxfuneralhome.com.