The son of Zola (Blackstock) and James William Smith, James was born in Moran, Texas in Shackelford County. He had a strong bond with his family and the land owned by his family for over 100 years. He was a lifelong farmer, rancher, and resident of both Moran and Abilene.
James had a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Tech University. He was a mechanical engineer for Lone Star Gas Company and a Licensed Professional Engineer, retiring after 38 years. James was companionable to everyone and his word was his bond. He had a remarkable natural mechanical ability and could fix anything.
He was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, and member of the American Legion Post #343.
His parents and siblings, Eula King, Anna Ray Gage, Travis Smith, Olan Smith and Willard Smith, preceded James in death.
James is survived by his sons; Mark Smith and wife Kathy of Lytle, Texas; Joe Smith and James Wesley Smith both of Austin; daughter, Carol Smith of Abilene; three grandchildren, Samwise Smith of Texas Tech, and Emily Smith and Crystal Smith both of Austin; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 1, in Moran Cemetery in Moran, Texas, with Pastor Clyde Kieschnick officiating, under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Legion Post #343, 111 Ground St., Moran , TX 76464 ; Moran Cemetery Association, P O Box 96, Moran, TX 76464; or National Ranching Heritage Center Museum, P O Box 43200, Lubbock, TX 79409-3200.