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James "Jim" Smith

December 18, 1937 - July 12, 2019

Funeral Home Hidden Valley Funeral Home of Kearney

Cemetery Mt. Olivet Cemetery

  • Visitation: 6-8pm Sunday, July 14, 2019 at Hidden Valley Funeral Homes in Kearney, Missouri
  • Funeral Service: 11am Monday, July 15, 2019 at the Church of Christ, 505 Elms Blvd, Excelsior Springs, Missouri

James Wesley Smith (Jim)
(December 18, 1937 – July 12, 2019)

James Wesley Smith (hereafter referred to as Jim as he preferred to be called) passed away this past Friday, July 12th at St. Luke’s Hospital due to multiple strokes. Jim was born on December 18, 1937 in Braymer, Missouri to Clifford Wesley Smith and Margaret Belle Eberlin. Jim grew up with his sister Myra June and they were very close. Jim was fond of his hometown of Braymer for all of his life and frequently got updates on their basketball results from his slightly more technologically savvy grandchildren. Jim graduated from Braymer high school in 1956, where he was a letterman on the football and basketball teams. Jim was also involved in the school play. Jim married Linda Irene Smith in Dewey, Oklahoma on November 11, 1967. They were happily married for 51 years. Jim worked at Hallmark cards with his best friend Joe Smith for 45 years, from the week after he finished highschool until he decided to retire. Jim enjoyed his retirement. He doted on his four grandchildren and was an unofficial chauffeur for his youngest granddaughter Sydney, as he got her hooked on his favorite television programs before taking her to school. Jim also made frequent 2 pm visits to his office (The McDonalds in Kearney) to catch up with his other retired/working friends and shoot the breeze. Jim was an avid sports fan and his support for the St. Louis Cardinals was particularly notable. He could regale people with tales of Kurt Flood’s speed, Bob Gibson’s arm, Stan the Man and many more. Jim also cherished some of his earliest dates with his wife Linda at Cardinals games. Jim was a member of the Church of Christ in Braymer and then also attended services in Excelsior Springs, MO. Jim’s faith was extremely important to him and it played a large role in shaping his life. Jim is survived by his wife Linda Irene Smith, his daughter Elizabeth Irene Mael, her husband Tim Mael, his daughter in law Angie Smith, his four grandchildren Sean Timothy Mael, Shelby Alysse Irene Mael, Sydney Alexandra Mael, James Cameron Smith, as well as his sister Myra June Griffith and his many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his son Jamie Smith as well as his parents and his brother Deanie Wesley Smith. The visitation will be held Sunday, July 14th, 2019 at Hidden Valley Funeral Home from 6 to 8 pm. Funeral services will be held at the Excelsior Springs Church of Christ Monday, July 15th, 2019. Followed by the burial at Mt. Olivet cemetery.

Now to speak a bit more about Jim. he was a loving husband, father, son, brother and grandfather. He loved to talk and people would occasionally refer to him as “windy”, but there was no better storyteller, or for that matter listener, in the world. You could tell Jim anything and he would accept it and you regardless of your faults. He had a mischievous streak and a strong dedicated sweet tooth his entire life. Jim was known as Pa Buddy to his grandchildren, partially due to his eldest grandchild being unable to say grandpa and Jim calling him buddy all the time. The moniker stuck and was a title he seemed to enjoy. I never met a man who was more empathetic to the plight of others and always seemed to bring people up more than Jim. Jim was a game show network enthusiast and a lover of a great many westerns. Jim always enjoyed the simple things in life and seemed most at home on his couch, surrounded by his Missouri Tigers Memorabilia. Jim Smith would quite literally take the shirt off his back for others, as he did once for his granddaughter when she claimed one of his flannels. Jim Smith was truly a one of a kind man. He made a huge difference in every life he touched, and was an incredible man, role model and mentor. Jim had a huge influence on my career choices and helped push me into sports and writing by always bringing me a copy of the Star. I was blessed to call him my Pa Buddy for 25 years. He will be missed

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