Jasper S. Smith, 95, Reverend Emeritus, well-known and respected resident of Canton Township, PA was called to Heaven by his Lord and Savior on Friday evening, March 15, 2019 from his home while surrounded by loved ones.
Jasper Sidney Smith was born in Moreland Township, Lycoming County, near Hughesville, PA November 22, 1923. He was the elder son of the late Sidney David and Mertie May (Derr) Smith. By the time Jasper was 15 he did all the farm work with horses due to his father’s illness and death. He attended school for seven years at Laurel Run, a one-room schoolhouse, and graduated with honors from Hughesville High School in 1941. In October, 1944, Jasper moved to Bradford County to work as a dairy milk tester with the Bradford County DHIA Association. In 1949 he served a year in the U.S. Army at Fort Eustis, Virginia earning the rank of PFC. Jasper remained in the Army Reserves until his honorable discharge in 1954. On Sept. 2, 1950, he married the former Lela Virginia Castle in the Hughesville Lutheran Church. He now joins his beloved Lela who passed away Nov. 25, 2015. Jasper will be lovingly remembered by all that knew him as a friendly, fair man with empathy for his fellow man and community. He journeyed through life guided by his faith in the word of God. Family was very important to Jasper and part of that love was his passion for researching both his and Lela’s family genealogy.
In 1962 Jasper was appointed Supply Pastor of the Burlington United Methodist Charge which included the Burlington, Luthers Mills and Mountain Lake Churches. He was ordained a Deacon in 1965 and was their Pastor for four years. Jasper later served for almost 11 years at the Ward U.M. Church where the congregation made several major church improvements before Jasper retired in 1986. He and Lela were long-time members of the East Canton U.M. Church where Jasper served as Church Treasurer for 17 years.
In 1944 Jasper was employed as a DHIA Supervisor for nearly 18 years. He tested many dairy farmer’s milk throughout the area and made numerous life-long friends. In addition to owning and operating a dairy farm in Canton Township for many years, he worked 16 years as the office manager of the former Troy Dairy Farms. For 11 years he was on the staff and on-call 24/7 with David Morse’s Canton Morse and Kleese Funeral Home before mentoring and assisting over 23 years with the P.D. Pepper Funeral Home.
He was a life-long supporter of the Grange Organization and a 70-year plus member and former officer of the Beech Flats Grange # 336. He held the Seventh and highest degree of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry which included the Subordinate, Pomona, State and National Granges and served in various subordinate offices over the years. Jasper served as the Master of Bradford-Sullivan Pomona #23 and was the State Deputy Master for six years. He was a member of the Jersey Cattle Associations of Bradford-Tioga County, Pennsylvania and the American. In 1987 he received the Honorary Dairymen’s Award for Bradford County and in 1989 Penn State University’s recognition for outstanding services and contributions to their Cooperative Extension Programs. Jasper was a 4-H Dairy Club leader for 20 years. He was a former treasurer of the Towanda Creek Watershed Association and member of the Three Community Joint Municipal Planning Committee. For over 39 years Jasper was secretary/treasurer for Canton Township, serving four 6-year elected terms as a supervisor. In 1981, he was elected treasurer for the Grange Mutual Fire Insurance Company and was the Beech Flats Cemetery Treasurer since 2005, holding both offices till present.
Surviving are his children; Elwin (Debra) Smith of Canton, Angela (Ronald) Kirby of LeRoy and Alisa (Jeffrey) Erway of Richmond, VA, eight grandchildren; Nichole (Mark) Beltz, Colene (Michael) Yakamook, Justin Smith, Jordan (Amanda) Kirby, Vanessa (Andrew) Kabes, Allison Kirby, Sarah Erway and Joshua Erway, great grandchildren; Nicholas Beltz, Noah, Aaron and Naomi Yakamook, Emmaline, Annalise and Adalie Kirby, a brother Myron Smith of Hughesville, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; Alfred and Phyllis Castle of Canton, Millard Jr. and Phyllis Castle of Bainbridge, NY and Edna and Robert Groover in Connecticut. Also, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and many wonderful friends and neighbors.
In Addition to Lela, his wife of 65 years, he was predeceased by two infant children; Dale in 1952 and Susan in 1954.
Calling hours are 5 – 8 P.M. Tuesday at Pepper Funeral Home & Cremation Facility, 578 Springbrook Dr., Canton and also from 10 – 11 A.M. Wednesday, March 20, at the East Canton U.M. Church. Pastor Michelle Sommerville will officiate the funeral service at the church following visitation. Burial will be in Beech Flats Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family ask you consider a memorial donation to Jasper’s beloved Grange, c/o Beech Flats Grange, A. Molyneux, 33 Black Bear Rd., Trout Run, Pa 17771.