John W. Smith

john smith

November 15, 1968 ~ December 10, 2022

John Wesley Smith of Fort Lee, NJ passed away December 10, 2022 at the age of 54. He was born in The Bronx, NY on Nov ember 15, 1968 and was raised in Dix Hills, NY by his parents Andrew Smith and Clara Anderson Smith. He attended Hofstra University and was most recently employed by Morgan Stanley as a Vice President of Information Technology.

John loved cars and racing and spent some of his free time working on and improving vehicles that he owned. He also had a passion for cooking and enjoyed preparing meals for his family.

John is survived by his loving wife, Felice and their two daughters which he adored, Samantha Elizabeth and Julianna Sarah.

The family will receive their friends and loved ones on Wednesday December 21, 2022 from 4-8 pm at the Frank Patti Funeral Home 327 Main Street (opposite the Fort Lee Library).


Visitation at Funeral Home: December 21, 2022 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

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Memories Timeline


  1. John was best friends with our son Scott and spent many days at our house during his teenage years. Many times I would find him in our den reading magazines on while the other boys were outside playing. That was John. He would read anything.

  2. This is a tribute from my mom Althea Rich to her beloved son-in-law John.

    It is with great sorrow that I share what made my son-in-law John so special .
    To start he had an encyclopedic memory and could discuss most subjects with confidence.
    He was a great cook and gardener and shared his produce with his neighbors. He had lately taken to reading some Russian classics including Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment which I had read many years before. We had some great discussions on the topic.
    We would always recommend or lend books to eachother. John and I were good friends as well as relatives. I could go on indefinitely about his attributes but will close by saying He loved Felice,Samanatha and Julianna with all his heart and he will be missed forever.
    We love you John and wish you eternal peace.


  3. I had the privilege of calling John my best friend for the last 37 years.

    John and I had a brotherly bond that grew over time through many shared experiences that shaped us from adolescence through adulthood. And through these times we developed a special friendship.

    We shared the same sense of humor, enjoyed the same interests, loved competing against one another and learned to trust each other through constant support and advice in good times and bad.

    John and I met in high school through a mutual friend and we spent a lot of time cruising around in his ’68 Barracuda Convertible. It was red and was a muscle car and at first it didn’t seem to fit John. But one thing I learned about John, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Never underestimate John. I learned that in a game of one-on-one basketball, in drag racing with mustangs and with John’s intellect.

    John and I loved talking about everything cars and loved street racing mustangs on Long Island. We bonded over our love for cars. John once hand-built an engine for his mustang. There wasn’t anything John couldn’t do when he focused his mind on it.

    John loved reading books and seemed driven to accumulate as much knowledge on all different subjects. He just mentioned to me he read 15 books this year.

    John accumulated so much knowledge he was like searching Google. If I needed an answer, I would just call John. He really knew about everything. He enjoyed sharing so much information and I enjoyed hearing him talk. And John was always there for me by listening. He was a great listener and an excellent problem-solver. He helped me in so many tough situations. He was a true friend.

    John was a man of great character and integrity and had an influence on everything in my life. I would always turn to him for advice.

    John loved his family, was so proud of his girls and adored Felice.

    I will miss John and will never forget him and all he did to impact my life and help me. He was the best friend anyone could ever ask for and I am devastated to lose him.

    I realize now our friendship was very rare and very special and I will cherish the memories we made.

    Love you, John!


  4. I have fond memories of John. I remember when I first met him I saw how much he loved my sister and how happy they were together. I was glad to welcome him into our family. When Samantha and Julianna arrived, I saw what a devoted and caring father he was and how much he loved the girls. John was a great chef and I always looked forward to those holiday occasions where he would prepare a feast that was always enjoyed. I always appreciated the care package he’d prepare for me to take home. I will miss you John and always remember you fondly.

  5. When I first met John we instantly connected and found we had a common love for cars, intellectual curiosity, and a similar outlook on life. I remember our first conversation. When I mentioned that I had been to Deer Park avenue many times and was lucky enough not to have attracted any unwanted attention, he summed up the situation in one sentence: 'you used tact.'

    I hung out with John almost daily for years, and I was always impressed with his ferocious intellect and hunger for knowledge. When we watched 'The Lion King' in the theater for the first time, only John knew that Timon and Pumbaa were meerkats. I remember thinking, how does he know that? He also shared a heated discussion he had with an elementary school teacher when he challenged Darwin's theory of evolution by making ape noises to mock the teacher, an early sign of his strong propensity to think for himself and challenge dogmatic thinking.

    I also remember being in a bar with John in Babylon, when a much larger guy bumped into him and tried to brush him aside, and John pushed back, hard. I believe he was escorted from the bar. I gained respect for him and always respected him as someone who was intellectually principled and fought for what he believed in.

    In the realm of cars, I remember John's stories of his legendary '85 Mustang, and what an aspiration it was to strive for that level of performance. I was amazed at his '89 Mustang, how well it ran with only simple modifications, how he got the most out it, and how well he drove it. After years of working on my car, when he finally said 'this is faster than my '85 Mustang', it was the highest compliment I could receive.

    I remember my brother coming back from a ride with John. saying 'a guy in a Mustang coupe wanted to race John, so John raced him and beat him. He wouldn't leave John alone, he wanted to race him again, so John let him win.' This says everything about him. He knew what he had and he had nothing to prove.

    The same story would repeat 'this guy at work (Macy's at the time) has a new Corvette, and he keeps saying how much faster his car his, how he could beat me so easily, so I raced him and won, boy was he upset!'

    I also remember John looking at a computer for the first time, saying 'I know absolutely nothing about this' and then tenaciously working at it for years until he reached the upper echelons of the Information Technology world. I was amazed at his perseverance and dedication and desire to learn.

    I'm glad to have known John as long as I did, he always challenged me to think differently, or to set a higher bar for myself. Coming from a rough background as he did, he was always an inspiration to me. 'If John can do it, you can do it.'

    John you will be missed. John is in this video at 3:20 and 6:30

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