American Veteran 01

Joseph Quinton Smith

November 10, 1926 ~ December 3, 2020 (age 94)


Joseph Quinton Smith, 94, was born in Pensacola, Florida on November 10, 1926.  He died at home in Wailua Homesteads on December 3, 2020. 

Whether you knew him as J.Q., First Sgt. or Uncle Penny or Papa J. Q. our lives have been touched and have been impressed by his love of family, his honorable service to this country, his energy for hard work and service to the community.

He led an amazing life and by any definition was a hero.  He followed his oldest brother and joined the Marines at 17, was a survivor of three wars where he received the Purple Heart medal twice. 

A special highlight of his career was being stationed alongside his family in Oslo, Norway. He was on special duty at the American Embassy and also flew top secret missions during the Cold War Era.  He loved being a Marine.  It infiltrated everything he did in life.

After his Marine Corp retirement his love of cooking and his business sense developed into restaurant management (Reubens, Kauai) and restaurant ownership (Brick Oven Kailua, Quinton’s Wharf in Hawaii Kai & Quinton’s @ Ward Warehouse).  Papa J.Q. was always available for his family and was the “go to guy” when help was needed in the families’ four different restaurants whether it was on Kauai or in New Mexico. 

His first “retirement” from the Marines was followed by his second “retirement” from the restaurant business.  He went on to work alongside Coins of Hawaii and the Chamber of Commerce to develop the Kauai Dollar, became an Ostrich and Emu breeder and meat wholesaler, went back to school at KCC in his 80’s to be certified to open an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration business.  He still wasn’t busy enough, so he went through training to become a security guard at the Social Security Office. 

His love of service and community kept him going whether it was Toys for Tots, the Rotary, ROTC, Score Ace mentorships, Marine Corps League, the Veterans Museum, or undertaking the task of rehabilitating the AE4 Aircraft that fronts the Veterans Building in Lihue.  He was a volunteer extraordinaire and he led by example. It has been said, “He was a sterling example from the Greatest Generation!”

He was married to the love of his life, Lillian for 74 years.  They met at 19 in Washington D. C. when he pretended to need help roller skating and asked “his Lily” for assistance.  Their love story is an amazing love story in itself. 

He was loved, admired and is survived by his Wife, Mary Lillian Smith; Daughter, Sharon (Steve) Gerald; Granddaughters, Tanya (Thor) Temme, Amy (Paul) Frazier; Grandsons, Jesse (Anahi) Gerald and Bryan Gerald.

He was blessed by being Papa J. Q. a great grandpa to, Tristan and Sienna Temme, Miles and Steele Frazier, Dillon Davis, and Maya and Avalani Gerald.

Private burial services will be held by the family at Kauai Veteran’s Cemetery.

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