James Marshall Smith, of Princeton, WV, "crossed the river," as he used to say, on May 5, 2018 at age 92.
James was born on September 6, 1925 in Princeton, WV to the late Cloyd Asbury Smith and the late Virginia Mae Hylton Smith.
James grew up in Princeton, WV and worked on the family farm as a youth. James was a proud member of the "Greatest Generation" and served in World War II as a Medic who was on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Shortly after that, he was ordered, as an 18-year-old Navy Medic or Corpsman as they were called in the Navy, to stay and help in military hospital while the rest of his company moved out on ship. He recalled his anger at being left behind, even though the Commander took one name from the top of the list and one name from the bottom. It wasn't too long after that he discovered that his ship, the LST-6 was mined and sunk in six fathoms of water while enroute from Rouen, France, to Portland, England. All perished. The ship earned three battle stars for World War II service. Throughout his life, James was reluctant to discuss his war experiences and when he did, it was in the context of his regret that so many young men perished. After his discharge from the military, he became an Electrician Apprentice for U.D. Carter & Sons. James continued his career as a Master Electrician. He worked for the Army Corps of Engineers in Greenland at Camp Century, a city under the ice, where he worked on Nuclear Reactors. James retired from Concord College as an Electrician. James was known as a kind and generous man who was loved by many. He lived life on Life's terms. He had a one word philosophy on life which fit most situations: "ADJUST." Always mechanical until the end, he could fix anything. James loved gardening and was always busy with his pear trees, vegetable garden or his beautiful roses. During the gardening season, James always had a bag of fresh vegetables for his visitors to take home with them. He also spent a lot of time maintaining the Smith Family Cemetery until he no longer could continue due to advanced age. Throughout his life, he made sure every child and grandchild visited the Smith Family Cemetery and would walk among the graves pointing out the deceased and recount something about them. He was quick to remind us that none of us would be here without these descendants who had gone before. James was a devoted family man who had a nurturing spirit and spent a large part of his life caring for others. He delighted his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren with the "Sweet Table" he kept loaded with various candies and cookies. In his later years, he kept such a place in his room at Glenwood Assisted Living Facility for the staff. James grew up in the Christian faith and was a baptized member of the Smith Chapel Church of the Brethren.
James was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty Kahle Smith and second wife, Alma June Smith. He was also preceded in death by his parents, Cloyd Asbury and Mae Hylton Smith, an infant brother, Charles, and his stepfather Luther Allen Smith. He is survived by daughter Yvonne Smith Burton and husband, Larry, of Cary, NC, daughter Amelia Anne Smith Leslie of Princeton, WV, daughter Rachel Smith of Bridgeport, OH, Stepson Bernard Atwood and wife, Anna, of Roanoke, VA and Stepdaughter Brenda Atwood of Bluefield, WV. Also surviving are ten grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren. James is survived by siblings June Smith Kirby of Princeton, WV, brother Clyde "Buddy" Smith of Hopewell, VA and Roger Allen Smith, Sr. and wife, Connie, of Princeton, WV.
Funeral services will be held at Memorial Funeral Directory on the Athens Road on May 18, 2018.
There will be private family visitation from 11:00-12:00 with public visitation from 12:00-1:00.
The funeral will begin at 1:00, and afterwards there will be a Military Honor Guard graveside service and interment at Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Princeton, WV. Serving as pallbearers will be Chris Burton, Gordon Williford, Roger A. ?Smith, Jr., Richard Smith, Burton Williford, Sutton Williford. and Christopher Atwood.
Flowers are welcome as James loved flowers or you may donate to any charity of your choice. If considering a donation, please consider donating to the Smith Family Cemetery Fund for its maintenance as the upkeep and care of the family cemetery was dear to his heart. Those donations can be made to Roger Allen Smith, Jr., 127 Hylton Lane, Bluefield, WV 24701.
Online condolences may be shared with the family via www.memorialfd.com.
The Smith family is being served by the Memorial Funeral Directory and Cremation Center on the Athens Road in Princeton.
Published on May 15, 2018