Calais – John Willard “Jack” Smith Sr., 90, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, November 23, 2020. Jack was born in Calais on July 22, 1930, son of Willard and Ruth (Morgan) Smith.
Jack graduated from Calais Academy, class of 1949. During high school he worked at Alexander Buick until enlisting in the U.S. Navy. Jack served from 1949 to 1953 during the Korean War, stationed aboard the USS Wright (CVL-49). On September 1, 1951, he married Sadie “Sally” Stuart. Following his military service, he returned home to Calais and worked for New England Telephone and then did some work on large construction projects in New York, Connecticut, and Maine. In 1961, he started his own electrical contracting business. Jack was truly one of a kind, with an unmatched work ethic and strong business sense, and as his business grew, he started Border Electric and found success in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. In 1974, Jack and his wife Sally purchased the major appliance arm of Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative and began selling General Electric products. Both businesses expanded throughout the years and are still active today, with many family members participating. Along their journey together, Jack and Sally also owned gas/service stations, various commercial and residential rental properties, and a convenience store.
Jack was a long-time member of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Calais. He was a former member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, IBEW Local Union 222 & 1253, and a nearly 65-year member of the American Legion.
Jack loved Calais and donated much of his time and energy to support local causes where his expertise and/or resources would be helpful. He had a great ability to understand how mechanical things worked with special interest in antique cars, his favorite being Buicks. He also liked to spend time at and work on the “big camp” in Charlotte, which he built on land that once belonged to his grandmother Smith. He loved classic country music, westerns, and buying and selling trucks, but all his interests were overshadowed by his love for and support of his family.
Jack was very respected and loved in his community. He never wished for nor wanted accolades for his countless selfless acts, and many of the good things he did were done quietly. One public award was the Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary International “in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.” Jack also received numerous recognitions from the City of Calais for his support of City operations.
In addition to his parents, Jack was predeceased by his daughter-in-law, Kathy Smith; brother Nelson Smith and wife Elva; sisters Lois Alexander and husband Clifford, Marjorie Colpitts and husband Francis, Faye Doliber and husband Willard Vernon; and brother-in-law Norman Mylen. Surviving are his beloved wife of 69 years, Sally Smith; five children, Theresa Smith of Calais, John Smith Jr. of Calais, Joseph Smith and wife Mary Jo of Rye, NH, Robert Smith and wife Chelsea of Arundel, and Sheridan Smith and wife Valerie of Baileyville; 12 grandchildren, Melissa Ramsey and fiancé Matthew Audy, Cristen Melo, Patrick Ramsey, Vincent Ramsey, Jonathan Smith and companion Andrea Floyd, Emily Smith and husband Matthew, Stephen Smith and companion Tiana Lola, Sarah Pike and Husband Nathan, Lucas Smith, Quinton Smith, Sadie Smith, and Brooke Smith; seven great-grandchildren, Cooper, Kaci, Aiden, Riley, Jackson, Emma, and Eloise; sister Barbara Mylen of Trenton; sisters-in-law Charlotte Gowan and Shirley Stuart of St. Stephen, NB, and Bessie Stuart of Edmonton, AB; his “extended family” at Border Electric and Eastern Maine Appliance; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to any of the following in Jack’s memory: St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Calais Lions Club, Calais Lioness Club, or PAWS Animal Shelter.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no public service at this time. Arrangements by Mays Funeral Home, Calais & Eastport.