James Lee Smith, affectionately known as “Smitty,” 59, died Friday Nov. 30, 2012, in New Iberia. He was born on Sept. 12, 1953, to Inez Jones and James Smith Sr., and adopted and reared by Leona and Holly Hembly of Pinola, Miss.
James accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized by Elder Samuel Quinn at Grace Temple Church of God in Christ in Pinola, Miss., where he faithfully served as Sunday school teacher and WPWW until he married and moved away. While living in St. Mary Parish, he attended Baldwin Revival Center, and later was an active member of Jerusalem Church of God in Christ under the pastorship of Elder Micheal Ford. He continued to worship at Grace Temple in Pinola when time permitted. James loved the Lord and remained a faithful Christian unto death.
He was educated in the Mississippi school system and graduated from New Hymn High School class of 1971. He attended and graduated from Prentiss Institute of Mississippi and Jackson State in 1974. James served in the United States Army as Second Lieutenant from 1975-1982 and was honorably discharged. For the last 35 years James was employed in the oil field industry in the capacity of operator specialist and safety tech for oil and gas companies including Shell, Murphy, Texaco, Chevron and Exxon, where he gained knowledge and experience in maintenance, installation and repairs. James was a man of integrity and character. He will be greatly missed by the family and friends he left behind.
James is survived by his daughter, Kayla Smith of Jackson, Miss.; a son, Eric Smith (Jacklyn); grandchildren, Zuri and Zakia Smith of Morgan City; his companion, Ann Poole of Morgan City; and sisters, Debra Willis (Delorian and Shaine) of Hattiesburg, Miss., Geneva (Charles) Carter of Jackson, Miss., and Karen Dykes (Tiffany, Jordan, Kevin) of Chicago, Ill.; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Jay Taylor.
Funeral services for Mr. Smith were held Saturday Dec. 8, 2012, at his home church of Grace Temple Church of God in Christ in Pinola, Miss. Pastor Elder Willie Wilson officiated. He was given the full graveside military rites that he deserved and was buried at New Hymn Cemetery in Pinola, Miss.
The family gives heartfelt thanks and many blessings to all who have offered their love and support during this time of bereavement.
Arrangements entrusted to Westhaven Memorial Funeral Home, Jackson, Miss.