Jim Smith, Sr.

Jim Smith of Waco, Texas went home to be with his Lord and Savior on December 27, 2012. Memorial services will be 11AM Wednesday, January 2nd at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 1302 Herring Ave. in Waco. The Rev. George Johnson, Jr., will officiate. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online Guest Book at www.LakeShoreFuneralHome.com.

Jim was born June 12, 1931 in Altheimer, Arkansas to Roy and Savannah Smith. He later moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas, where he attended the Stuttgart School System until he joined the Air Force in 1949 at 18 years of age. Jim entered the Air Force before integration, and had to serve in an all-Negro unit until after the Air Force was integrated. After integration, he was allowed to go to school to become an aircraft mechanic and, later, a flight engineer. During his Air Force career, Jim served at military bases abroad in Korea, Japan, France, and Vietnam. Domestically, he served at bases in Arizona, California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, and Texas. He retired in 1969 after 20 years of service in five different countries.

In 1957, Jim met and later married his life partner, ElJoan Cooper, in Wichita Falls, TX. After retiring from the Air Force, Jim went to work for the U.S. Postal Service in Riverside where he worked his way up from Letter Carrier to Manager of Customer Service. He was also Postmaster of Loma Linda, California. Jim retired from the Postal Service in 1989 to live his dream of travelling this beautiful country.

Jim and his wife, ElJoan, started their adventure of traveling the country in a motor home in 1978. Some of his hobbies included bowling, fishing, camping, woodwork, and travelling. Jim and ElJoan sold their home, traded up to a larger motor home, and spent the next 13 years travelling and living in their motor home. They lived their dream of seeing America.

Three sisters and two brothers preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife ElJoan; his children: John and Sonia Smith, Jim Jr. and Carol Smith, Deborah Davis, and Joanna and Vandy Alexander; 6 grandsons (Eric Bailey, Troy McPeak (wife, Nicole McPeak), Antonio Ward (wife, Janecia Ward), Jim Smith III, Jelani Smith, Rylon Smith); 4 granddaughters (Joanna Beamon, Terese McPeak, Charlotte Smith, Madison Smith); 8 great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives.

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