John Oliver Smiley Jr., 77, of Bloomfield Hills, MI, formerly of Gunnison, died Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at Bolivar Medical Center in Cleveland.
Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 24, 2017, at Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church in Mound Bayou with Rev. Horace McKay officiating. Burial will follow in Ross Memorial Gardens in Mound Bayou.
Visitation will be from 2-5 p.m. with family hour from 5-6 p.m. Friday, June 23, 2017, at Brinson Funeral Home in Cleveland and from 1-2 p.m. Saturday at the church.
In 1958, John graduated from Mound Bayou High School. He attended two years at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN, and transferred to Mississippi Valley State College (Mississippi Valley State University) in Itta Bena, where he received a bachelor of science degree in 1963. He moved to New Orleans in 1965. John worked for one year at Reynolds Company in New Orleans. In 1967, he moved to Detroit, MI, and began working at Ford Motor Company. During this time, he returned to school to earn a metallurgical engineering degree from the University of Michigan, Dearborn. He worked as a skill trades for Ford Motor Company for 42 years until he retired in 2009.
Survivors include wife Annie Rose Ross-Smiley of West Bloomfield Hill, MI; son John Oliver Smiley III of Southfield, MI; two grandchildren Samantha Smiley of Southfield, MI, and Ashlie Thorn of Detroit, MI; great-grandchild Ami Rice of Detroit, MI; daughter-in-law Umckia Smiley of Southfield, MI; mother-in-law Rosie Carter-Ross of Mound Bayou; sisters-in-law Lucille Ross of Detroit, MI, Bernice Ross-Stidhum of Cleveland, Deborah Ross-Lee of West Bloomfield, MI, and Carol Collins-Ross of Detroit, MI; brothers-in-law Mack McKinley Ross of Detroit, MI, Leroy Stidhum of Cleveland, Joseph Lee of West Bloomfield, MI; special cousin, LaFrancine Seles of Memphis, TN; and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.