James Wesley Smith, age 82, of Rockingham, escaped this mortal realm on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
He has left behind his stunningly beautiful wife, two remarkable sons, a dependable, easy ridin’ pick-up truck, and two large abundantly filled storage buildings.
James is survived by his overly tolerant and accommodating beautiful wife, Sue, who was the love of his life since the day they met when he drove up in a laundry truck and swept her off her feet. She graciously put up with his comedic responses and selective hearing to her ever-so-patient requests during their 62 years of marriage.
He is also survived by his talented, quick-witted sons, Jimmy (wife Sheryl) of Reidsville and Kenny (wife Kate) of Ellerbe; sister, Catherine Pait; grandchildren, Chris Smith (wife Alex); Hunter Smith (fiancé Taylor); Casey Smith; Kenley “KG” Smith; great-grandchildren, Chloe Smith, Ella Smith, Amara Smith, Axel Smith, Carter Williams and Caden Williams; brother-in-law, Ken “Buddy” Erby (wife Ann).
James is preceded in death by his parents, James and Grace Smith of Hamlet; and a son, Lannis Craig Smith.
James barely graduated high school in 1959 from Hamlet High School. He spent 30 tireless years with ARA Vending as a route supervisor before becoming the most elite and well-rounded team member of Supreme Filter Service, Inc: a company he adored and helped grow and worked for up until just 6 months ago.
James has spent most of his retirement in his recliner enjoying Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke” and Judge Judy, much to his beautiful and patient wife’s delight, along with sitting on the front porch with a cup of the blackest cup of coffee you can find north of Colombia. Even in his last few moments, he reminded us that with only two more episodes of Judge Judy, he’ll have his law degree.
Other hobbies have included counting the cars going up and down John Webb Road, taking care of his birds in the bird-feeder, and much to his dismay (but always with a smile), drilling holes in wine bottles for his beautiful wife to create home décor. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandkids and great-grandkids, cracking jokes and filling their ears with tall tales that he called a “true story!”
James was a man that no one with a heartbeat could say anything negative about. He was, as anyone and everyone that knew him would say, the nicest man I’ve ever met. And if he wasn’t the nicest man you’ve ever met, then clearly, there was something wrong with you. James took pride in a good hot dog with nothing but mustard, ketchup and “heavy on the onion” with an ice-cold Pepsi Cola. He was a simple man on the material things in life but heavy as a God-fearing, devoted and loyal man that walked this Earth. To know him was to love him. As he requested in his last few hours to end the Earthly suffering, “Now let’s get this show on the road.” Rest in peace, JW.
A celebration of his life will be Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. at Roberdel Baptist Church with the Rev. Robby Stewart officiating. Burial will follow at Richmond Co. Memorial Park.
The family will receive friends from 2-3:15 p.m. prior to the service at the church and at other times the home of his son, Kenny Smith, 241 John Webb Road, Ellerbe.
Memorials may be made be to Roberdel Baptist Church, 1118 Richmond Road, Rockingham, NC 28379.
Online condolences may be made at watson-kingfuneralhome.com. Watson-King Funeral Home in Rockingham is serving the Smith family.