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James Smith

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James Smith Obituary
Smith, James
83, of Peoria, Arizona passed away on July 11, 2015. James P. Smith, 83, a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and brother, passed away earlier this month in Peoria. Jim was born and raised in Newark, N.J. He entered the U.S. Air Force and met his wife in Nebraska. He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nebraska. The family moved to New Jersey, where he became a civil service employee, and eventually moved to Iowa, where he worked at the Rock Island Arsenal for 24 years before retiring to Cave Creek. Jim and Candy loved to travel, and were devoted to spending time with family as their kids and grandkids moved all over the U.S. Jim survived for 24 years after his first open-heart surgery and never stopped living life to the fullest. He discovered the woodshop at Freedom Plaza in his retirement, and was an enthusiastic and talented toy maker. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Candy Smith; and their five children, Jim (Teri) Smith, Carefree, Ariz., Brian Smith, Cave Creek, Ariz., Blake (Karen) Smith, San Antonio, C.C. (Jerry) McConnell, Cedar Rapids, and Brad (Cathy) Smith, Scottsdale, Ariz.; as well as grandchildren, Michelle (Ed), Donnie, Marena, Brennan, Grant, Brenna, Anthony, Julia and Katrina; and also by his amazing sister, Joan; numerous extended family members; and lifelong friend, Bill Byron. He was preceded in death by both parents; and sisters, Marty and Ruth. Respecting his wishes, a private ceremony was held immediately after his passing. A small service will be held in August to scatter his ashes into the ocean he loved off the New Jersey shore. Memorials may be made to Freedom Plaza Woodshop (13373 Plaza del Rio Blvd., Peoria, AZ 85381), the Arizona Humane Society or Friends of Eight at ASU (Eight, Arizona PBS, Member Services, 555 N. Central Ave, Suite 500, Phoenix, AZ 85004).

Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 9, 2015
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