Smart, James R.,
died on August 13, 2014 at Narareth Home. Born on November 6, 1924, he was a son of Joseph E. Sr. and Marguerite Portman Smart. After two years at St. Xavier High School he dropped out and joined the U.S. Navy on a four year enlistment in 1941. He served first on the battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), then the fleet oiler USS Cimarron (AO-22), and finally the destroyer USS Everett F. Larson (DD-830). He also attended Advanced Firecontrol School in San Diego, and Pre-Commissioning School at Norfolk. During the war he participated in numerous Pacific naval operations ranging from Guadalcanal and New Georgia campaigns in the Solomon Islands, through the invasions of Tarawa, Kwajalein, and Eniwetok in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, and the invasions of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam in the Mariana Islands. His ship was part of the task force that made the first carrier raid on the Truk Islands in early 1944, at the time a major Japanese fleet anchorage. For these operations, and others, James was awarded seven battle stars. He arrived in Japan on board the USS E. F. Larson a few days after the official surrender ceremonies in September 1945. Having completed his four year enlistment, he was honorably discharged in November 1945 as a Firecontrolman (Ordnance) 2nd class.
He attended the University of Louisville (BM 1950) and Indiana University (MM 1952, and was awarded a Certificate in Philosophy 1958). For 25 years he was a Reference Librarian for sound recordings, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. He was the author of three major essays of musicological and discographical interest and several minor essays most of them published by the Library. After early retirement, he moved back to Bloomington, Indiana and served as Assistant Director pro tem of the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University. After finally returning to Louisville in 1990, he became a volunteer reader at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic for a period of 16 years specializing in books of Theology and Philosophy. For 12 years he was a member of the choir at Church of the Holy Spirit, for which he wrote a number of anthems and solos.
James was preceded in death by his parents, his brother and sister-in-law, Frank and Celia Smart of Maynard, MA, his brother John (Jack) Smart, his brother-in-law, John Gaynor; his sister-in-law, Darlaine Smart; and his nephew Joseph E. Smart III. He is survived by his brother, Joseph E. Smart Jr. and his sister Mary Jane Smart Gaynor and sister-in-law Mary Beth Smart; along with many nieces and nephews.
Visitation is Sunday from 2-8 p.m. at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Road. Funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Monday at Church of the Holy Spirit, 3345 Lexington Road with burial in Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Hand in Hand Ministries, 2225 Steier Lane, Louisville, KY 40218, or a
Highlands Family-Owned Funeral Home
3331 Taylorsville Rd. Louisville, KY 40205
Published in The Courier-Journal from Aug. 15 to Aug. 17, 2014