James Benedict SMITH, age 78, Beloved father of Lance Smith (Annie) and Steven Smith (Bridget.) Loving grandfather of Gwain, Addison, Ava and Eloise. He is survived by his former wife Patricia Smith and siblings Hugh (Liz deceased), Robert (Dianne), William (deceased) (Lori), Molly (Tom).
James passed away peacefully on February 15th 2021. He learned to fight as a Drill Instructor in the army and a martial arts enthusiast in his youth, and it showed as he fought through Parkinsons, cancer of the larynx, COVID, a broken femur, and Pneumonia. In the end, he finally ran out of fight.
He grew up in University Heights and went to St. Ignatius High School. After graduation he attended John Carroll University followed soon after by the US Army. His army career ended with marriage to Patricia Reuter and the birth of his sons. After finishing his career as a dedicated father and businessman, he has been retired for the past 20 years.
Jim loved humour and was well known for entertaining those around him with his jokes.
He will be remembered by those who loved him as:
- A ninja warrior – two practice swords were always displayed prominently in his home
- A swarthy sea captain of a 17ft motor boat – nearly all weekends of family life were spent exploring the lakes and rivers of Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania
- Baker and of Cod Liver Oil Bread (patent pending)
- Teller of humorous anecdotes – he always had something to say and it was usually in jest
- Inventor extraordinaire – he loved to think he had a better mousetrap
- Wiggler of ears – self-explanatory
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. John Newmann Church, 16271 Pearl Rd, Strongsville, OH 44136 on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 11:00 AM Eastern. Followed directly by private services at The Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, 10175 Rawiga Rd., Seville/Rittman, OH 44273.
A Celebration of Life for Jim will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would rather memorials be directed to either: the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System or the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Messages of Condolence
Jim U will be missed. I. Remember trying to get to Put-in-Bay in your 17’ boat from Catawba and never made it. We had good times gong to browns game in St. Lous. Rest In Peace and my prays are with you Jim.
Remembering you with fondness and recalling happy times at family get togethers at our house and yours. Growing up with so many cousins (you among them) was such a blessing! Thinking of you, Jimmy.
Lance, Steve and Aunt Pat, I’m so sorry for your loss. I will always remember Uncle Jimmy as larger than life. Breaking bricks and wood with his bare hands, taking us out on his boat, trying to teach us to ski, just always making sure everyone around him was having a good time. And it seemed like whenever he was there everyone did have a good time. I have nothing but good memories of him.
Love and prayers,
It was a great childhood growing up w Jim as an older brother! All my girlfriends were crazy about Jim – he was so good looking and fun! He was always helpful to my mom as our older brothers left home for college! He was so smart an interested in various areas life has to offer! He loved his wife and children and grandchildren! Will miss you so much!