John Mack Smalls Sr. (also lovingly called Johnny)
Born on April 30, 1931 in Tacoma Washington, he was the youngest of four. He graduated from Bellarmine High School in Tacoma Washington in 1950 then went into the Navy as a boiler operator on the USS Enricho and also the USS Cabildo during the Korean War. From there he became a crash rescue firefighter as a civil servant on places like Kwajelein Island, Wake Island, then in Hawaii at Schofield Army Base. He retired after 25 years as crash/rescue.
He was a beloved son and brother, a husband and father, loving grandfather, great grandfather, and a great great grandfather. He passed away on October 3, 2018 after a fierce battle with Alzhiemers Disease. He fought this illness that same way he fought any enemy combatant during the Korean War, or a prolific fire on board a ship, or a plane crash on the runway; with a fearless resolve to do whatever it took to beat this thing. As with all of his other battles, he faced his Alzheimers with defiance and staunch determination to maintain his independence, integrity, and dignity. That was dad, strong in his resolve, yet very compassionate which was tempered with an incredible sense of fairness and balance. I am sure heaven could use a great firefighter like you dad, you are surely missed here.