James's Story

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James Ronald Smith, age 81, Joplin, Mo., passed away on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at Freeman West Hospital.
James was born January 6, 1936, in Loraine, Ill., son of the late Leslie Smith and Mary Ellen Wear Smith. He graduated from Minden High School in Minden, Ill., and then attended Macomb College in Macomb, Ill.
He joined the United States Air Force and served for four years before returning to Illinois where he married Othelia Ruth Hess in October of 1959. The couple moved to the Joplin area in 1971 where he worked in construction as a carpenter. He later began his own business where he began specializing in garage doors. He worked until the age of 80 before retiring.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Janice Smith, who passed away in 2013.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Othelia; daughter, Juanita Smith, of Joplin; grandchildren, Jeff Smith, of Joplin, Bryan Smith, of Colorado, Kris Smith, Tiffany Smith, and Destiny Briscoe, all of Joplin; 12 great-grandchildren; brothers, Roger Smith, of Colorado, Terry Smith, of Loraine; sisters, Shirley Sittrick, of Chicago, Ill., Sharon Smith, of Loraine; several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, October 25, at 2 p.m. in Parker Mortuary Chapel with Rev. Jeff D. Martin officiating. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery with full military honors. The family will receive friends at Parker Mortuary on Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m.
Published on October 22, 2017
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