John Buchanan Smith Jr.

February 11, 1963 ~ August 21, 2023 (age 60) 60 Years Old


John Buchanan Smith Jr., 60, of Maple Park, Illinois passed away on August 21, 2023 doing something he loved, riding his motorcycle on a beautifully sunny afternoon.

John was born in Chicago, Illinois to devoted parents John and Anna Smith, on February 11th, 1963. John’s childhood was filled with adventure, and plenty of mischief, alongside his three younger siblings. He attended Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois where he met the love of his life and future wife, Melissa. John continued on to attend diesel mechanic school in Tennessee, further tailoring his remarkable skills working with cars. His ingenuity and commitment to hard work led him to start his own concrete business in 1992, Buchanan Construction.

John’s incredible work ethic never slowed him down from living life to its fullest. His spontaneous spirit led to countless adventures with family and friends; dirt-biking across the desert, skiing the mountains out west, perfecting his wakesurfing technique, and much more. John often joked about writing a book of all his escapades, whether it was an impulsive two-day hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, or squeezing four adults and five children into an RV to drive cross-country. He always had a way of turning simple trips into exciting experiences. John served on many mission trips to Costa Rica, Haiti, Canada, and more – wherever there was a need, John was there to lend a hand. John provided for his family in an above-and-beyond fashion whether it was constructing his homes from the ground up or driving hours to help his family out of car trouble; he would always drop what he was doing to make sure the people he loved were taken care of.

John is survived by his adventure partner and beloved wife of 35 years, Melissa Smith, and their children; Amanda (and Jordan) Stoner, Keondra Smith, and John (and Emma) Smith. He is also survived by his siblings Jim (and Allison) Smith, Amy (and Tim) Udager, and Joel (and Kara) Smith. He treasured being a grandpa to his five grandchildren Isaiah, Jerry, Jayvon, Zariah, and Zavier.

John made the most of each day, altruistically providing for his friends and family and accepting anyone he encountered as one of his own. No matter what life was throwing at him he always anchored to his personal motto, “It will all work out, it always does.” 

Services will be held on Wednesday, August 30th from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, ceremony to start at 7:15pm. Leonard Memorial Funeral Home, 565 Duane Street, Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Hearten Haiti Project or the National Motorcycle Safety Fund in honor of the deceased.

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Memorial Gathering
August 30, 2023

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Leonard Memorial Home
565 Duane St.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Memorial Service
August 30, 2023

7:15 PM
Leonard Memorial Home
565 Duane St.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137


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