Johannes Smid

Obituary of Johannes Smid

Johannes Smid, 88, of LaFayette went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 11, with his loving family at his side. Born January 18, 1931, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Tjasse Smid and Femmigje Bult, he was one of seven children. He completed his studies in 1954 at the Free University of Amsterdam, with a master’s degree in chemistry. A Fulbright fellowship took him to Syracuse, NY where he continued his chemistry studies under Dr. Michael Szwarc at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and received his PhD degree in 1957. In 1956 he married his sweetheart Elizabeth (Elly) Schippers, also from the Netherlands, in Hendricks Chapel on the Syracuse University campus. Both returned to the Netherlands where Dr. Smid served for two years in the Dutch Army, attaining the rank of Lieutenant. They then emigrated with their first-born son Derk to the United States where Johannes joined the faculty of the chemistry department of SUNY-ESF, becoming a full professor in 1969. He taught courses in the field of polymer chemistry, while his research focused on the mechanism of polymerization processes and on the properties of polymeric materials, including polymer electrolytes for use in Li batteries, and the synthesis of radiopaque polymers for application in dentistry. The results of his research and that of his coworkers have been reported in more than 200 publications, including a variety of international journals, as well as in book chapters. They were also communicated at many scientific conferences in the USA, Europe and Asia. Sabbatical leaves were enjoyed at universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Israel.

Dr. Smid loved his Lord and served Him in the capacity of deacon, elder, and Sunday school superintendent, first at South Presbyterian Church, Syracuse, and since 1982 at the LaFayette Alliance Church. He served for many years on the Board of International Friendship Evangelism (IFE), a ministry that reaches out to international students with the love of Christ. Over the years, he and his wife opened their home to many international students, scholars, and missionaries.

Johannes was predeceased by his parents, brothers Heine and Auke, and sisters Dineke, Bini and Geertje. He was the proud father of four children and opa to nine grandchildren. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, children Derk (Amy), Frank (Heidi), Janneke (Clayt) Roberts, and Hans (Mary), nine grandchildren, Jacob (Lexie), Nathan, Zachary, Jonathan, Matthew, Benjamin M., Kathryn, Benjamin J., and Samuel, as well as his brother Jaap (Joke), and many nephews and nieces.

Calling hours will be on Friday, March 22, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, at LaFayette Alliance Church on Route 20 in LaFayette. A celebration service will be held Saturday, March 23, at 10:30 am, at LaFayette Alliance Church, followed by a brief burial service at LaFayette Cemetery. Flowers or donations may be sent to LaFayette Alliance Church, 6069 Cherry Valley Turnpike, P.O. Box 150, LaFayette, NY 13084. Donations may also be made to the Syracuse Rescue Mission, 155 Gifford Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, or to International Friendship Evangelism, 4274 LaFayette Road, Jamesville, NY 13078.