James Richard “Jim” Smith, 72, of Winfield, passed away Tuesday evening, Aug. 21, 2018, at his home.
Graveside memorial services are at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at Highland Cemetery. Jim preferred wearing T-shirts and blue jeans and requested those attending to dress casual. Miles Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.
A memorial has been established in Jim’s name for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Contributions can be made through the funeral home.
Online condolences can be made at www.milesfuneralservice.com.
Born Sept. 22, 1945, in Evanston, Ill., Jim was the son of Richard and Dixie (Wheeler) Smith. He was raised and educated in California, where he graduated from high school. He then joined the United States Air Force and proudly served his country in Vietnam. Following his honorable discharge, Jim returned to Illinois, where he attended Northern University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education.
He moved to Kansas in 1979 and began working as a teacher at Serendipity School for Special Needs Children. Jim and Jené Brown married on Feb. 5, 1983, in Hutchinson, and they made their home in Winfield. Jim continued working as a teacher until the school closed in 1996. He then worked for the Cowley Country Sheriff’s Department for a short time before starting a career at the Winfield Correctional Facility. While at the prison, Jim worked with special-needs prisoners, helping them to complete their General Equivalency Diplomas, until retiring in 2007.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, as well as the MRPC Gun Range. He enjoyed going to the gun range; collecting belt buckles; history, especially the Civil War; watching movies; and fishing. He especially loved spending time with his family.
In addition to his father, Jim was preceded in death by a sister, Patty Ford; and a grandson, Ethan James Smith.
His family includes his wife, Jené Smith, of Winfield; his sons, Noah Smith and wife, Kayla, of Winfield, Aaron Smith and wife, Abigail, of Fort Jackson, S.C.; his mother, Dixie Smith, of Winfield; his grandchildren, Nadia, Peyton, Zoe, Matilda, and Brodie; a niece, Laura; and a nephew, David.