Arrow-right Camera
News >  Obituaries

Obituary: Smith, James “Smitty” Jr.

Age 81

SMITH, James Jr. “Smitty” November 10, 1932 - October 22, 2013 James Smith, Jr. began his earthly journey on November 10, 1932 in Beckley, WV. He was welcomed by his parents James and Francis Smith Sr., who preceded him in death in October 1974 and 1971 respectively. Smitty, as he was fondly known by those who knew him, graduated from Stratton High School in Beckley. There, in addition to other extracurricular activities, he played football and, because of his tenacious play on the field, was known as “The Bruiser”. After high school graduation Jim joined the United States Air Force on March 21, 1953. The Air Force provided him with many opportunities. He was a member of its military police force, continued to play football, and participated in Golden Glove boxing competition. He rose to the rank of Tech Sergeant and was discharged at Fairchild Air Force Base in 1975. On September 15, 1953 he married his childhood sweetheart V. Anne Hicks in Blue Field, West Virginia. V. Anne preceded him in death on September 30, 2013. Jim’s life in Spokane was a rich one and a contributory one. He began working for the City of Spokane in 1980 as a Personnel Technician and rose to the position of Director of Human Resources. In that capacity he negotiated and administered labor contracts, developed training programs and mentored new employees. He retired from his formal public service career in 2000. Always believing that he needed to give back personally and professionally, he actively recruited and mentored numerous employees, and participated in professional, civic and other organizations: organizer of the local Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Pine State Golf Club, member and officer the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, organizer of the state chapter of the same, member of the National Management Association, member of North Side Kiwanis’s, Masons and an enthusiastic player on all City of Spokane Golf Tournament teams. He served as a member of the Deacon Board, Trustee Board member, and Willing Worker at his church Calvary Baptist. Smitty’s life is celebrated by his devoted son and daughter-in-law Byron and Karyn; granddaughter Chant’e; great-granddaughter Ta’Veyeah, all of Spokane; sisters Betty Jean Smith Garrett (Rocky Mountain, NC), and Margaret Smith Pratt (Akron, OH). Jim has a host of nieces, nephews, and others who equally remember and celebrate him and his life. Celebratory services will be held at Calvary Baptist Church on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 2: 00 PM Rev. C.W. Andrews, Pastor and officiating. To view Jim’s online memorial, please visit Arrangements entrusted to