Longtime apple industry salesman John “Roger” Smithey died Feb. 4. He was 81.
Smithey, Jenks, Okla., was with the Washington Apple Commission from 1988-2003, starting on the field staff covering Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. Before that, he was a sales manager for W.J. Jones, an Oklahoma City broker. He was also a manager of a Broken Arrow, Okla., Humpty Dumpty Store.
In 1995, he was promoted to the commission’s division marketing manager for the western U.S. In that role, Smithey supervised eight regional managers covering everything west of the Mississippi River. He left in 2003 when the Washington Apple Commission downsized, after a court ruling on the commission’s ability to collect fees for generic promotions.
He joined Borton & Sons Inc., Yakima, Wash., as a field representative for the southwestern U.S., retiring in 2011.
“One thing Roger never lacked was a very strong work ethic,” according to his obituary. “He enjoyed his work, and he was passionate about doing the job to the best of his abilities. Roger made long lasting, personal friendships with all of his colleagues and business partners, and to his last days on this earth, he kept close ties with most all of them.”
A visitation will be from 2-5 p.m. Feb. 10, at the Heath-Griffith Funeral Chapel, Tulsa, Okla. A funeral service celebrating his life will be 2 p.m. February 11 at the funeral home.