Deceased August 2019
Unfortunately Jack Smyth died unexpectedly last August . I only recently found out myself and was able to track down his obituary (see below). I talked with his wife Linn and she said I could send it along to Jack's long lost friends and, of course, to the Rocky River Class of 1965 team. Jack was my roommate at Cornell and we periodically stayed in touch after graduation. I saw him about 5 years ago and he was as energetic as ever, working hard and still very involved with high performance racing cars. Linn and the three girls are coping, but it was a really big shock as you can imagine. Sorry to have to send this news. Best, Chub [Stofer]
Jack B. Smyth. On January 5, 1947, John Borden Smyth was born to Clark and Gladys Smyth in Rocky River, Ohio and was immediately called Jack. He had a loving, happy childhood and met the love of his life, Linn Jensen Smyth, on a ski trip with her Cornell roommates. Jack was both player and coach of the Cornell men’s ski team, a member of Psi Upsilon social fraternity, Aleph Samach, an orientation and dorm counselor, and started his first business! He graduated in 1969 with a BS in Industrial Engineering and a few months later, on August 23, 1969, Jack and Linn were married. After working in Chicago for The Lincoln Electric Company, they moved to California where Jack received his M.B.A. from Stanford in 1975. Jack and Linn made their home in the Bay Area for almost 20 years, growing to a family of five with the births of three little girls. Jack had an illustrious professional life: he was an early CEO of The Learning Company – known for some of the first early-education software games like Reader Rabbit and Rocky’s Boots – and continued to gain accolades for his skill in sales and administration with computer companies like CompuCom and Compaq/HP before shifting gears into medical health records start-ups after the recession. He and Linn were also involved in charitable work, notably acting as Co-Chairs for the American Heart Association’s 2004 Northwest Houston Heart Ball. Jack was awarded the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. His daughters describe their dad as a consummate teacher, leader, coach, and as he put it, a “serial entrepreneur.” He was passionate about everything and loved sharing that enthusiasm and helping people. These traits were apparent in his commitment to his work, his deep love of family, and his enjoyment of skiing, tennis, and racing cars. Dad spent his last weekend in his happy place at the track, driving “OPCs” (“Other People’s Cars”). He loved the Lamborghini Hurracan but his heart belonged to the Honda S2000. His death was sudden, at home on the eve of a business trip, doing work he was passionate about. He is survived by his older brother, Clark Smyth, of Colorado, his younger brother, Dru Smyth, of Indiana, his lifelong best friend, Bill Seelbach, of Ohio, and their children and grandchildren. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Linn Jensen Smyth, and three daughters: Khrysti Smyth Barry, Maclean (Smyth) Gerding, and Dr. Karen (Smyth) Skinner. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Heart Association in Jack's name.