WEST CHAZY — James Robert Smith, 87, passed peacefully into eternal life on March 6, 2014, at the Clinton County Nursing Home. Throughout his short illness he never lost his sense of humor.
Jim was born on March 13, 1926, in Ausable Forks, N.Y. He was the fourth child of 11 children born to William H. and Ethel M. (Reid) Smith.
Jim graduated from Ausable Forks High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army two weeks later. He served in World War II as a company clerk in Italy. He suffered non-combat related burns during an explosion. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned home and attended Champlain College in Plattsburgh. He later retired from a long career at Diamond International and as a self-employed custodial contractor.
Jim loved to go deer hunting in the Adirondacks and the Southern Tier with his many brothers and nephews. He loved working with stained glass and wood, taking special pride in lovingly crafting cedar-lined oak hope chests for his family. Family camping adventures were abundant, and he loved to travel to visit family in the US and Canada. Planning family gatherings at local restaurants was a specialty as well as consuming church harvest dinners, far and wide, especially corned beef and cabbage. In his later years, trips to the local casino were a special treat.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Carolyn (Donivan) Smith; his son Gary (Ginny) Smith of West Chazy; daughters Gail (Marcel) Giroux of Plattsburgh, Christine (Refik) Ozkan of Clifton Park, Pamela Carter of British Columbia, Canada; son Todd (Laurie) Smith of Florida; daughter Amy (Paul) Grabkowski of Clifton Park; one sister, Ellie (Alan) Dickerson of Elizabethtown; 14 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; mother-in-law Beulah LaVarnway (age 105); sister and brother-in-law Dolores and Milton "Chuck" Barnes, brother-in-law Kenneth Weeden; and sisters-in-law Helen, Marion, and Sylvia Smith as well as Patti Fitzgerald. All of his family was very special to him.