John Smiley Obituary, Remembering John Smiley, A Life of Faith, Family, and Baseball

John Smiley Obituary, Remembering John Smiley, A Life of Faith, Family, and Baseball

Bowling Green, Kentucky, mourns the loss of a beloved member of its community, John Smiley, affectionately known as “John Boy.” At the age of 57, John passed away on December 20, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of faith, family, and a profound love for baseball. This article pays tribute to John’s life, his contributions, and the impact he made on the Bowling Green community.

A Loving Family Man

John Smiley is survived by his beloved wife of 32 years, Sheila Williams Smiley, and his two sons, Jacob Lane Smiley and Adam Lewis Smiley (Meagan). His family, including his parents Terry and Paula Smiley, his brother Jeff Smiley (Darlene), and his sisters Jennifer Holland (Ken) and Sharon Lowe (Danny), were dear to his heart. John also cherished his nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews, forming a close-knit family that brought him immense joy.

Educational Achievements and Career

John graduated from Ohio County High School in 1984 and continued his education at Western Kentucky University, graduating in 1988. A proud Hilltopper, he was also a baseball player for the WKU Hilltoppers. Following his education, John embarked on a 20-year career with State Farm Insurance before joining Builders by Design in 2008. He served as the Vice President of Finance and Administration for both Builders by Design and Finishes by Design, earning a reputation as the go-to person for his coworkers.

Passion for the Outdoors and Baseball

An avid outdoorsman, John found solace and joy in hunting alongside family and friends. However, his true passion lay in baseball. John coached for the Warren County South Little League, leading his team to win the State Championship for two consecutive years. In 2013, he took his team to the Finals of the Great Lakes Regionals, just one out away from the Little League World Series. His coaching prowess extended to South Warren High School, where he played a crucial role in developing the baseball program.

A Man of Faith and Community

John Smiley was not just a sports enthusiast; he was a man of faith. He lived out his beliefs by radiating love and kindness to everyone he encountered. A devoted member of Three Springs Baptist Church and later Woodburn Baptist Church, John found solace and fellowship in his faith community.

Final Farewell

Visitation to celebrate John’s life will be held on Friday, December 22, 2023, at J.C. Kirby and Son Lovers Lane Chapel, with the funeral service officiated by Rev. Tim Harris. John will be laid to rest in Bowling Green Gardens. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy are requested to be made to Woodburn Baptist Church Missions, reflecting John’s commitment to community and faith.


Bowling Green, Kentucky, remembers John Smiley not only as a dedicated professional and coach but as a loving family man, a man of faith, and a pillar of the community. As friends, family, and the community come together to bid farewell, John’s legacy lives on in the hearts of those he touched, leaving an indelible mark on the Bowling Green community.

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