Obituary: SMITH, JAMES

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 20 2014 12:51 a.m. MDT

James Stull Smith1932 - 2012James Stull Smith passed away Wednesday, April 11, 2012, surrounded by his family. He was born April 18, 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Alfred Jenkins Smith and Rebecca Marie Stull Smith. He had a special relationship with his grandparents, David Asael Smith and Emily Jenkins Smith, who raised him after his mother's death in 1943.He served as a Navy corpsman with the U.S. Marines during the Korean War where he earned a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for his gallant efforts in helping his wounded shipmates. Upon returning to the University of Utah after the completion of his military service, he met the love of his life, Susan Eleanor Blair, who was swept off her feet by the dashing veteran who was still using a cane to help him get around as he recovered from his war injuries. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 4, 1953. Her loving and patient care for him through prolonged illness set an example of true Christ-like love.They ultimately set down their roots in Salt Lake's foothills, where they raised seven kids in a house with only one bathroom. He loved coaching his boys in little league baseball and dedicated his life to providing for his large family. He loved to take his family on vacations, including camping trips to the National Parks. But, his favorite place to take his family was to the beach and Disneyland. He was usually the last one out of the surf at the end of the day and could be heard yelling louder than anyone whenever he rode a roller coaster. He spent hundreds of hours attending his children's, grandchildren's and great-grandchildren's sporting events, dance performances, recitals, school plays, courts of honor, or whatever activity they were participating in. His yard and gardens always looked immaculate. Each of his sons learned that there was only one way to mow the lawn and that was his way. His home was always inviting. He opened his doors to one and all. It was amazing that as his family grew larger there was always room for everyone to gather in his home, especially at annual Christmas Eve parties. He was quite the dapper dresser and was seldom seen without a pocket square that perfectly matched his tie. He loved to shop for his beloved wife and took pride in the fact that she always looked so stylish. He could work a room like no one else and always made an effort to make a personal connection with all he came into contact. You couldn't escape him without getting a hug first. He was attentive to the needs of others, and his children were amazed at how much better his advice became as they grew older.He retired from the Department of Veterans' Affairs after spending a career making sure his fellow veterans were taken care of. After retiring, he and Sue volunteered at the LDS Employment Center, where they spent many years helping people change their lives. He also served as an ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple, and one of his saddest days was when he realized he was too sick to continue serving in the House of the Lord. He was a student of the Gospel and loved to share his deep knowledge of the Scriptures with others. He served in many different capacities in the LDS Church and always sought to magnify the callings he received. He never hesitated to share his testimony of the Atonement of his Savior Jesus Christ. His stewardship on Earth serves as an example to us all.Jim, Jimmy, Dad, Papa, Poppy, Pops will be missed by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Susan; his children and their spouses: Jeffrey (Mardene) Smith, Rebecca (James) Scott, Matthew (Cynthia) Smith, Tamara Smith, Jennifer (Gary) Butts, Timothy (Melinda) Smith, and Amie (Charles) Williamson; 26 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and the special Paul Dodge family. Preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Seth Harvey Blair, Jr. and Florence Herrick Blair; and granddaughter, Shannon Rebecca Marie Doyle. He is also survived by his sister, Sydney (Richard) Flack, and brother, Michael (Linda) Smith.Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 14, 2012, at 12:00 noon, at the Parleys Fifth Ward meetinghouse, 2625 E. Stringham Ave. (2295 South), Salt Lake City, UT, where friends and family may visit from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. prior to the service. Interment at Larkin Sunset Lawn.