Date: Oct 15, 2014
Celebrating the life of John B. Smith, a forward thinking agriculture leader

The following is a press release issued by JV Smith Companies on the death of John Smith, founder and chairman of Skyview Cooling Company (a JV Smith Company), and father of Vic Smith, Western Growers board member and senior vice chairman.

The Western Growers family wishes to express its deepest condolences to Vic and his family during this difficult time.

John B. Smith, 84, passed away Sunday, October 12th in Yuma, AZ from complications due to an extended illness. John was the founder and chairman of Skyview Cooling Company, a member of JV Smith Companies, based in Yuma, Arizona.

Born September 16, 1930 in Madison, MO, John moved to Pueblo, Colorado in 1950 where he met and married Edna Pauline Vinci in 1951. John received his bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1953. He graduated from the law school at Denver University in 1956. In 1960, he was elected District Attorney of the 12th Judicial District in Colorado and served in that capacity for 10 years.

In 1970, John established Skyview Cooling Company, a cooling and distribution operation which had facilities in Alamosa, Colorado and Las Cruces, New Mexico and would eventually expand to Soledad, California and Yuma, Arizona.

In the 1980's, John pioneered Agricola El Toro, a farming operation in Mexico which is now an industry leader in growing, packing and shipping premium quality organic vegetables that supply the American markets.

In 1990, he established Skyline Potato Company, a potato packing operation in Center, Colorado. He then formed Southern Colorado Farms in 1994, and began farming organic carrots, lettuce and spinach. At the time of his death, his vision and efforts resulted in operations employing over 750 people.

Known for his generosity, strength, intelligence, courage, vision and most beloved of all, his entertaining personality, John's legacy will continue through his family and the companies he so dearly loved.  

John Smith is survived by his wife of 63 years, Edna.  His children, Lori (Marty) Adams of Pueblo, CO; Vic (Karen) of Yuma, AZ; John (Carolyn) of Tucson, AZ, and Nicki of Albuquerque, NM.  He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Visitation will be Thursday, October 16 at Johnson Mortuary in Yuma, Arizona from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with a Rosary at 7:00 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Yuma, Arizona at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 17th. A reception following the service will be held at Pivot Point Conference Center, 301 North Madison Avenue, Yuma, AZ.   Burial services will be held Monday, October 20th in Pueblo, CO at Roselawn Cemetery at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers and in honor of John's generous spirit, the family suggests donations be made to Hospice of Yuma or Yuma Community Food Bank.

Hospice of Yuma

1824 S 8th Ave.

Yuma, AZ 85364

Yuma Community Food Bank

2404 E 24th St.

Yuma, AZ 85365 

For more information or questions, please contact:

Kristan Sheppeard 928-246-9108 (cell), email

Media representative for JV Smith Companies


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