John Kenneth Smith – Lieutenant Colonel, United Sttaes Army Central Intelligence Agency

 Sunday, January 22, 2006

John K. Smith, 85, a senior official with the Central Intelligence Agency who later became a sailing coach, died January 16, 2006, of aspiration pneumonia at Genesis-Spa Creek Nursing Center in Annapolis, Maryland. He had lived in Annapolis for the past 30 years.


Mr. Smith came to the Washington area in 1951, when he joined the CIA. He served as a clandestine officer in Vietnam and Iran as well as in other parts of the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America and Central America. He retired in 1975 and was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal.

Mr. Smith was born in Ansonia, Connecticut, and attended high school in Buffalo, New York. He served in the Army infantry in World II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was seriously wounded in February 1945.

He received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He later became a member of the Army Reserve.

He graduated from the old University of Buffalo (now the State University of New York's University at Buffalo). He remained a lifelong supporter of his alma mater. He later did graduate work at American University. He was fluent in German and French.

After retiring, Mr. Smith moved from Alexandria to Annapolis, where he kept a succession of Tartan sailboats, all named “Anka von Iglasee” after the family poodle. He often competed in sailing races on the Chesapeake Bay and was an official with the Chesapeake Bay Handicap Racing Fleet.

As a volunteer member and coach of the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, Mr. Smith trained midshipmen in sailing techniques and competitive racing. He was the squadron fleet captain, race chairman and rear commodore.

He was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and taught sailing as part of its education program. He also worked as a boat examiner in boatyards. In 1978, while sailing on the Chesapeake, Mr. Smith, his wife and daughter rescued two watermen whose boat had sunk.

His other interests included golf, travel, reading and gardening.

Mr. Smith was a member of the Central Intelligence Retirees Association, Military Officers Association of America, American Legion, Naval Academy Sailing Association, Naval Academy Officers and Faculty Club, and Annapolis Yacht Club. He was a founding member of the River Bend Golf & Country Club in Great Falls. He was also a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Annapolis.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Dorothy E. Cain Smith of Annapolis; his daughter, Deborah Marie Smith-Mardelli of Potomac Falls; two brothers; and two grandsons.


On Monday, January 16, 2006 in Annapolis, Maryalnd. He was a retired CIA Senior Official.

Church services will be held on Friday, March 24, 2006 at 12:45 p.m. at Fort Myer Chapel, followed by burial in Arlington National Cemetery with Full Military Honors.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Dorothy Eileen Cain Smith of Annapolis; one daughter, Deborah Marie Smith-Mardelli of Potomac Falls, Virginia; two grandchildren, George Matthew Clayton Mardelli and John Paul Petty Mardelli of Potomac Falls, Virginia; two brothers, Leslie S. Smith of Tonawanda, New York, and Donald J. Smith of New Haven, Conncecut, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.

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