Submitted by his family
Jim ‘Smitty’ Smith‚ age 62‚ died March 22‚ 2003‚ while fighting a fire at a residential structure in Troy‚ Indiana‚ where he and his wife resided. Jim was the shining light of our family; we still cannot believe he is gone. He was born and raised in Indianapolis until the age of nine. Then he moved and resided in Rockport‚ Indiana‚ a small community in the southern part of the state. After graduating from Tell City High School‚ he joined the United States Air Force and served his country for four years. During that assignment‚ he married his high school sweetheart‚ Sandy‚ and had two children‚ Westley and Julie. After his responsibilities in the Air Force were complete‚ he started his longtime career in the electronics and semi-conductor business. His successful career took him all over the world to some fascinating places. He and his family lived in various beautiful places in the United States‚ but despite this he and Sandy chose to return to retire in the small Indiana town of Troy.
Jim was well known and liked in the community where he served the Troy Volunteer Fire Department for seven years. Before his untimely death in March 2003‚ firefighting was his proudest accomplishment‚ sharing his excitement with anyone who would listen. He was also active in his local American Legion Post 213 where he was recently appointed the post of First Vice Chair. Jim was also involved in local government and fundraising activities that benefited everyone around him. His personal loves were his family‚ playing euchre‚ golfing and NASCAR racing. There is no doubt he is greatly missed by all who knew him. He always had an infectious smile and heartfelt warmth for those around him. He was an honest man who pulled no punches‚ but he was always fair.
Jim always made it clear to his family that we were his priority and we miss his love and guidance as well as his undeniable sense of humor. Together‚ Jim and Sandy made sure to demonstrate and teach the importance of family everyday. His soul mate of 42 years‚ Sandy‚ his son Westley and wife Nicoule‚ their two beautiful children Michelle and Sean‚ daughter Julie and husband Edward Caracappa along with brother Bill and his wife Judy‚ numerous nieces and nephews and his in-laws survive him. To his family‚ he died as he lived‚ our ever-present hero.