James Richard Smith, 82, of North Platte, died Jan. 14, 2012, at his home after a short bout with leukemia.
James was born Sept. 4, 1929, at Guide Rock, to Hugh and Hazel Anderson Smith. He grew up in Ogallala, and attended school there.
He joined the U.S. Navy in November 1946 and was discharged in June 1950 then returned to Ogallala and started painting with his Dad.
In 1951, James married Nellie Pauline Heins and they made their home in Ogallala. In the early 1960s they moved to Denver. After Nellie's death in 1974, James met Annette Marie Walczyk and they married on Nov. 23, 1974, in Las Vegas. They made their home in Broomfield, Colo., before he semi-retired. They moved to Lake McConaughy in 1992 and spent their winters in Arizona. In 1999 they made their home in North Platte. He had been a painter for over 50 years.
James was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church and P.R. Halligan Post no. 163 American Legion. His favorite past-times were camping, fishing, reading Western books, and boating. He enjoyed talking to everyone and was a great conversationalist.
James is survived by wife, Annette Smith, of North Platte; two sons, Gary (Carrie Kusy-Smith) Smith, of Lincoln, and Richard Smith, of North Platte; a daughter, Barbara (Frank) Foster, of North Platte; five grandchildren, Christina (Tim) Skrtich, Nellie Smith, Justin W. Smith, Michael Sands and Gavin (Allyson) Foster; six great-grandchildren; two brothers, Donald (Maxine) Smith, of Kemp, Texas, and Robert Smith and his friend, Marilyn Miller, of Paxton; a sister, Theresa Robinson, of Tampa, Fla., a sister-in-law, Mildred Smith, of Westminster, Colo.; many nieces, nephews and other family.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Nellie Smith; his parents, Hugh and Hazel Smith; a son, Ronald Gene Smith; four brothers, Lynn Smith, Lester Marymee, Hugh Smith, Jr. and Ralph Smith; and two sisters, Shirley Reese and Violet Hammond.
Christian Wake services will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church with Father Jim Golka as celebrant. Inurnment will be 12:30 p.m. (MT) in the Ogallala Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to St. Patrick's Catholic Church or donor's choice. The memorial book may be signed at odeanchapel.com or on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the family receiving friends from 6-7 p.m. at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore, which is in charge of arrangements.