Oct 24, 1928 - Jan 25, 2022
It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of James (Jim) Thomas Smith on January 25, 2022 at 93 years old. An artist, skier, singer, cyclist, sailor, musician, pilot, community activist and devoted husband to his wife of 62 years. His immense talents and thirst for life was an inspiration, and he will be deeply missed by so many.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 24, 1928 to Thomas Edwin Smith and Lillian Adele (Olson) Smith. He was a middle child to his two beloved sisters, Patricia Anne Rhay and Barbara Jean Ashmore. The family moved to Seattle in 1930 where his father worked as a state politician.
In 1945, the governor appointed Jim's father to the position of Warden of the Washington State Penitentiary and Jim attended Walla Walla High School. He found many perks of being the son of the Warden living on the prison grounds as inmates took over his normal household chores and the motorpool shop inside the prison restored his Model A. He graduated from WaHi in 1947 and attended Whitman College before enlisting in the U.S. Army. Jim served three years in the army before venturing out to explore his passions in 1951. Jim headed to New York to pursue a career as an artist. He began working with Gray Advertising Agency while attending Pratt Institute. His heart called him back to the Northwest in 1956, where he attended Seattle's Burnley Art School and worked as a Graphic Artist throughout his career. Seattleites would head for a week of skiing at Sun Valley every February. It was there that Jim first met his future wife, Joan Jamieson, although it wasn't until a year later when they saw each other skiing at Stevens Pass that the romance began to blossom. After a two year long courtship, the couple was married on August 29, 1959.
In 1962, the couple purchased their lifetime home on the Queen Anne hillside overlooking Elliott Bay. Jim served as an active member of the Queen Anne Community Council Board of Trustees for over 50 years. He was also an active member of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1956 and sang with Seattle SeaChordsmen for over 63 years. Jim and Joan loved the outdoors and adventure. They were avid bicyclists; biking to and from work and enjoying bicycle vacations around Europe.
At 68, Jim rode his bike from Seattle to Walla Walla for his 50th High School Reunion. During the ski season you would find them on a mountain skiing Double Diamonds or on the outback. Sailing the waters of Puget Sound in their sailboat was a favorite during the summer months. At 66 years old, Jim became an UltraLight pilot and built an "Airbike" from a project kit. He flew out of Arlington Airfield for 17 years, logging 401 hours of pilot time. His lifetime of interests did not stop there. Jim was a member of the Puget Sound Group of NW painters, played the Bagpipes, loved sports cars and adored his cats.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Joan, along with eight nieces, a nephew, and many grandnieces and grandnephews. A memorial service will be held at the Queen Anne Baptist Church on Sunday, February 27th, at 3:30 p.m.
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Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home - Seattle
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