James "Jimmie" Smith 1945 - 2021

With heavy hearts, we are sad to announce Wayne James “Jimmie” Smith died unexpectedly in his home on September 15, 2021. Jimmie was born May 2, 1945, to Herman and Betty Smith in Los Angeles, California.

We’d love to write a traditional obituary, but the family is currently busy taking inventory of his 1,272 T-shirts, 7,801 pocket knives, 629 flashlights, and his seven dozen pairs of black and white checkered Vans.

Jimmie grew up in El Monte, California, and his favorite jobs included being a box boy at The Food Lane and working as a stable hand at Sunset Stables. His son, Justin, ultimately believes he was born a cowboy since his dad worked at the Sunset Stables. He was a member of The Gentlemen Car Club in El Monte in the 1960s, with an initiation that led him to keep a huge wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth until it invoked relentless vomiting. His favorite high school sports included chasing ladies and running from the local police. Jim and Debbie were high school sweethearts and were married in Reno, Nevada, in 1965. According to Debbie, Jimmie was “One Cool Guy”; he loved cars and motorcycles, he was always looking for a party and a good time. Jimmie thought he was invincible and forever 21. Debbie remembers he never missed a family event, a kids' game or an important kids' event, but he couldn’t change a diaper or cook a piece of toast to save his life.

Drafted into the Army in 1964, Jim was ultimately stationed in Germany until 1966 and returned to his wife and first-born son Todd in California. After Jim lost his big toe while working as a lineman in California, his life became so out of balance that they moved to McMinnville, Oregon, in the late 1970s to continue creating a life full of family, friends and good times. Jim Smith was a Cool Cat: He had a strut you could spot from a mile away. He loved his children and grandchildren with his whole heart. Always the first one to arrive and the last one to leave a party. Always a gentleman who walked everyone out to their car on departure.

Jim had a firewood fetish, almost borderline panic. The guy could fish for hours upon hours.
He loved his Lake Family, his Legion Family and his very special “Shop Cronies Family.” Jimmie was a powerful force, full of strong hugs, larger than life smiles and a work ethic that never quit.

He was equally loved by so many people and he will be missed terribly. Raise a shot of Fireball or a Coors Light tonight, because you have One Cool Cat looking down with a flirt and a smile.

Debbie, Todd, Tyson, Zach, Jessica, Lily and Trenton, Toby, Tyler and Connor, Justin, Madeline, and Isabel, Megan, Cora, and Grant, Jerry and Barbara.

In lieu of flowers, please send any monetary donations to the American Legion Riders Scholarship Fund, American Legion Post 21, McMinnville, OR. Celebration of Life to be announced at a later date. To leave condolences, visit www.macyandson.com.


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