James Charles Smith, 71, of San Marcos, Calif.died on June 13, 2007 due to Alzheimerâ€™s complications. Graveside services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m. at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee. Rev. Ray Kruger will officiate. There will be military rites at the graveside. The Boothby funeral home in Cherokee is in charge of the arrangements.
James was born Oct. 23, 1935 to Irma Mase Smith. He
grew up in Cherokee. He loved his parents, family, and his many friends and never forgot his boyhood friends and family in Cherokee.
He was an Aeronautics Major in San Jose Calif., earning a bachelor of science and his pilotâ€™s wings. He considered education as the greatest gift as he continued learning and earned his masters degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in counseling. His passion was guiding young minds into furthering their education to better their lives. With his knowledge and passion for education, he became a teacher; many would agree that he had a special gift for teaching.
He encouraged so many to succeed by helping them to find the confidence and desire to be so much more. He moved to Las Vegas in the early 70â€™s to become a Fire Hydraulics Instructor for the county fire department. He was such a math wiz.
He spent over 20 years living and teaching in Las Vegas and to this day still gets calls from people whose lives he touched, from former casino employees, he loved keno and live music, who are now college educated professionals, to a favorite rookie from his 1974 firefighters class who became chief. They all made him so proud.
He is survived by his wife Mary, children Jeannie and Justin, grandson Andrew, first wife Joyce, and cousins Brad Awe, Jody Bordin, and the Raymond family.