Cover photo for John Rodney Smedley's Obituary
John Rodney Smedley Profile Photo

John Rodney Smedley

d. October 26, 2014

Everybodys best friend, John Rodney Smedley, left for his next great assignment on Sunday morning, October 26, 2014. John has passed through many trials and cancer had weakened his body substantially, but his spirit remained strong and faithful to the end. Always concerned about his familys and friends welfare, he remained with us, through the pain, until he was satisfied that we would all be well cared for. John was born in Palo Alto, California, on May 3, 1968, to Thayne and Ellen Smedley, the fifth of eight children. His family moved to Twin Falls, Idaho when he was eight. He spent many happy hours exploring the canyon and perfecting his foosball and BMX bicycling skills. His parents also bought him his first mini-bike, the start of a life-long love for motorcycles and speed. In 1983, the Smedley family moved again to the Pocatello, Tyhee area, where John has happily remained. Thayne and Ellen taught their children self-reliance and hard work. John demonstrated an early love of designing and building, and learned many basic building skills while helping his father build several family homes. In his youth, John was already using his proficient building skills to earn extra cash, building playhouses and decks. He also worked at Smiths Food and Drug for 13 years, until 1999, making many dear friends and fun memories. His creative mind and able building skills provided a good living for his family as he built homes for many years and eventually specialized in concrete construction. John was a fair and honest businessman, acutely concerned that his customers received fine and detailed workmanship. His reputation provided job after job and word of mouth was his only form of advertisement. He endured difficult weather and challenging conditions, never leaving the job until it was securely completed. John loves working and insisted on completing this concrete season, even through the painful progression of the disease. He was grateful beyond description to those construction friends who helped complete that goal. John graduated from Highland High School in 1986. He enjoyed his good friends, fun dates and drumming in the school band. He served an LDS mission from 1987 to 1989 in the Texas, San Antonio Mission. He approached this assignment with enthusiasm and joy, like every church assignment to which he has been called. He especially loved working with the youth. Scouts, was a favorite and frequent calling. Helping young people develop confidence and talents is very important to him. Serving people of all ages brought him great joy and he never let any grass grow under his feet when he spotted a need. Interesting projects like parade floats and organizing game nights were some favorite church assignments. He served in the bishopric as a counselor while battling cancer in 2010, and in January, 2014, was called as bishop of the Bringhurst Ward. He and his family considered it a great joy and blessing to serve his congregation while fighting cancer the second time around. He served with all his heart for nine months and was just released the 19 th of this month. John met Jynnae Millward in June of 1993. Never one to wait when he knew what he wanted, they married in the Salt Lake City Temple on October 9, 1993 and moved into his first, nearly completed home. Their very happy marriage was blessed with six children, Elder Mitchell Smedley (serving in the Argentina, Comodoro Rivadavia Mission), Karlie, Jackson, Jane, Clarissa and Ella May. They make a great partnership, and in the words of their children, "Dad is the fun one and Mom is the serious one." John took his children to work every chance he had and played with them every chance he had. A great lover of music, he taught the children to play all the instruments in their family rock band, "Rocks in Your Head" and demanded near perfection in their performance. Many happy hours were spent together playing music, working, boating, skiing and playing "Beat Up Dad" on the trampoline. John thrived on teaching his children life skills and fun talents. John Smedley loves people of all walks of life and felt every person he met was a personal friend. His plain spoken, loving way of sharing his opinion endeared him to many, many people. He lived 90 years worth of life in just 46. John loved his Savior with all his heart and developed a personal friendship with Him. His faith overcame every trial and challenge and filled him with unwavering hope and optimism. John passed into the next life unafraid and well prepared to meet his Best Friend and Savior. He is preceded in death by a sister, Gayle Smedley, grandparents Rodney and Isabelle Eames and Bernard and Ella May Smedley, as well as two brothers-in-law, Bryce and Quinn Millward, and a nephew, Griffin Millward. He is survived by his parents, Thayne and Ellen Smedley (Chubbuck), his parents-in-law, Dennis and LaNae Dye (Chubbuck) and Joseph and Alice Millward (Kingman, AZ). He is also survived by his eternal sweetheart, Jynnae Smedley, and his six beloved children. John is survived by six siblings, as well: David Smedley (Salt Lake City, Utah), Susan (Mark) Berrett (South Jordan, Utah), Maureen (Travis) Kirkland (Alpine, Utah), Kaylene (John) Savage (Genola, Utah), Daniel (Nichol) Smedley (Logandale, Nevada), and Jerry (Becky) Smedley (Idaho Falls, Idaho). He is also survived by siblings-in-law Cody (Keri) Millward (Derby, Kansas), Gard Millward (Holladay, Utah), Dell Millward (Las Vegas, Nevada), Annique (Jed) Dayley (Chubbuck), and Curtis (Megan) Millward and many nieces and nephews, as well. The family wishes to thank all their friends and family for their incredible support. We also thank his medical doctors and nurses, who have worked miracles in his care. A viewing for John R. Smedley will be held Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 6-8 pm at Colonial Funeral Home 2005 S. 4 th Ave. Pocatello, ID 208-233-1500. An additional viewing will be held Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 9:30-10:30 am at the Tyhee Stake Center, with funeral services held at 11 am under the direction of Bishop Shad Johnson of the Bringhurst Ward and President Kevin Loveland of the Tyhee Stake. Interment will be at Inkom Idaho Cemetery following the services. If you wish, in lieu of sending flowers, a Smedley Childrens College and Mission Fund has been established at Citizens Community Bank. Condolences can be made to the family online at

Funeral Service

10/30/2014 11:00

Colonial Chapel

2005 S 4th Ave




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