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JAMES SMITH

Obituary Condolences

April 21, 1922 - March 16, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY Lieutenant Colonel James David Smith (Jim), USAF (Ret.), age 91, went to be with our Lord Sunday, March 16, 2014, with his son Steven at his side. Born April 21, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois, to David E. and Edith M. Smith, he graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1948, with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Speaking. Commissioned into the Air Force in 1944 as a fighter pilot, Jim served his country for more than 25 years, with assignments in Korea, Germany, Italy, and Vietnam, where he was a squadron commander of F-4 fighter planes. He logged thousands of flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft, completing more than 100 combat missions. During his career, Jim was the recipient of a Bronze Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, and multiple Air Medals, among several other awards. Upon retirement, he worked another 20 years in state and local government. Jim will be especially remembered as one of the founding fathers of the Oklahoma City Running Club, and worked tirelessly to develop the sport of long distance running in Oklahoma. He also perfected the arts of race direction, course measurement and certification. All the while, Jim was setting numerous state records in distances ranging from 5km to the marathon, and continued to compete into his 70s. Jim was inducted into the Oklahoma Long Distance Running "Wall of Fame" in 1998, elected Director Emeritus of the OKC Running Club in 2007 and recognized with a Distinguished Service Award in 2012. Beyond running, Jim enjoyed officiating the high jump at many high school and college track meets. But more than anything else, his inspiration to us all was expressed through his enthusiasm for whatever he did, and his adventurous spirit. He will be greatly missed. Survivors include his wife Glynda, daughter Carolyn, step-daughters Shauna and husband William and Tami and husband Peter, sons Eric and Steven, and six grandchildren Stephanie, Heath, Kimberlyn, Trey, Felix and Anthony. Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, at Smith & Kernke Funeral Home, 14624 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK.

Published in The Oklahoman on Mar. 20, 2014
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