Virgil J. Smiley
Virgil J. Smiley
  • September 22, 1920 - May 14, 2017
  • Chatham, Illinois

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2931 South Koke Mill Road
Springfield, IL 62711
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Virgil "Jack" J. Smiley, 96, of Springfield, passed away on Sunday, May 14, 2017 at Villa of Hollybrook, Chatham, IL.

He was born September 22, 1920 in Wood River, IL, the son of the late Virgil and Elsie Smiley. He married Gwen Pearse in Plymouth, England in 1943. Mr. Smiley served in the Merchant Marines for two years and was a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII, assigned in North Africa and Europe. He received the Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.

After 31 years, he retired from Sangamo Electric as Chief Manufacturing Engineer. He retired after 5 years with Homelite Corporation as Manufacturing Engineer Section Manager. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Springfield, VFW Post 755, and the Illinois LST Association. He enjoyed walking the mall, playing cards with friends and visiting with family. He was also an avid reader and especially enjoyed reading history of all wars both foreign and domestic.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, a grandson, a great-granddaughter, and a sister.

He is survived by his two sons, Brian (wife Joan) Smiley of Madison, WI, and Russell (wife Michelle) Smiley of Charlotte, SC; 3 daughters, Janet (husband Robert) Karr of Divernon, IL, Lynda (husband Paul) Bridges of Hot Spring Village, AR, and Paula (husband Hal) Kitchen of Springfield; 10 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild; his brother Tom (wife Jan) Smiley of Las Vegas, NV; and 2 sisters, Georgia Lee Coco of O'Fallon, IL, and Joanne Creason of Princeton, IL.

Services are under the direction of Bisch Funeral Home West, 2931 S. Koke Mill Rd., where a memorial visitation will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017 from 2 to 3:30 pm. Graveside Memorial Service will be held on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 10 am at Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, with inurnment to follow. Per his wishes, cremation rites were accorded.

Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

Please visit the online "Life Remembered Story" at where tributes and condolences may be left for the family.