COOPERSTOWN – John W. Smirk Jr., 75, a Navy veteran, manager of New York City skyscapers, and proprietor of the Cooperstown B&B with his late wife Linda, died Thursday, April 11, 2019.
Born Jan. 24, 1944, in Long Beach, Calif., John was the son of John W. and Elizabeth (Kirkbride) Smirk.
He grew up in Brooklyn and spent summers in Greenwood Lake, N.J. It was there that John’s love of “life at the lake” began.
In 1965, John enlisted in the Navy and honorably served his country as a seaman during the Vietnam War aboard the USS Coral Sea.
John worked in Commercial Real Estate Management in Manhattan where he managed buildings including 9 W. 57th St., 1 New York Plaza and Sony Tower at 550 Madison Ave.
After retiring he moved to Cooperstown and opened Cooperstown Bed & Breakfast with his wife, Linda, where he enjoyed meeting and making friends with their guests.
John loved vintage cars including his 1966 Mustang Fastback, Land Rovers and 1960 Jaguar Mark II. When he was young, he enjoyed downhill skiing and tennis.
He traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States. He especially enjoyed visiting family in England and Scotland and eating fish and chips. He rarely missed a game of cards with his lifelong Brooklyn friends. John loved listening to audio books and music, including Elvis and Chuck Berry.
John is survived by his daughters, Christine Smirk and her husband, Tony Feliciti of Towaco, N.J.; Elizabeth Dunn of Cooperstown; son, Bruce Dunn and his wife, Tanhena and grandsons, Lucas and Marcus of Montgomery; first cousin, Carol Houston of California; and Cocker Spaniel, Mac.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Arlene, in 1989; their daughter, Heather, who died in early infancy; and his second wife, Linda, in 2016.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, followed by a memorial service at Tillapaugh Funeral Home, 28 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. There will be a celebration of life from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Buckley’s Restaurant, 2926 Ave. S, Brooklyn.
For those who wish to give flowers, the family suggests plants and spring flowers (e.g., tulips and daffodils) so they may be planted to re-sprout each spring in John’s memory. Alternatively, donations may be made to Double H Ranch, Lake Luzerne, or www.donorschoose.org.
Arrangements are under the care of Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.