James A. SmithIssue Date: February 21, 2019
James "Jim" Allen Smith, 87, passed away Saturday, Feb. 16 at Brewster Village in Appleton.
Born in Milwaukee on Oct. 22, 1931 to the late Martin J. and Catherine (Muggenthaler) Smith, he attended St. Boniface School until moving to Appleton and then was a student at St. Therese School. His parents moved to Kiel where he attended 8th grade at Ss. Peter and Paul School and graduated from Kiel High School in 1949.
Following graduation, he enlisted in the Navy and completed basic training with the 1950 Hall of Fame Company, then was sent to Norfolk, VA to attend Personnel Man School. He then was sent to the Great Lakes Naval Base, but the orders were canceled when the Korean War broke out and he reported to the Theodore E. Chandler (DD717) in San Diego, CA. He was on board only six days when the ship left for Korea, with their first stop being Pearl Harbor, then it was Midway Island, and finally to Sasebo, Japan.
When they left Sasebo, they escorted a small carrier, which had 54 planes strapped on its deck. After two days they were in a typhoon, where one huge wave washed all the planes over the side. They returned to port and he was seasick for weeks.
After serving three tours in Korea, he was discharged on Oct. 15, 1953. After returning home, he went to work for his uncle, Leo Pesch of the Peshtigo Times.
He then met his dream girl at her aunt's birthday party and impressed her, because the next day he called for a date and she said, "Wait one minute." He could hear her ask her mother, "Who's Jim Smith?" Lucille (Lu) (Meyers)and Smith were married Aug. 20, 1955. Their first child, Steven, died at birth, Laura Mae Smith was born on June 22, 1960, and Daniel Lee Smith arrived eight years later in 1968.
Among survivors are his two children, Laura (Christopher Medora) Smith and Dan (Kimm) Smith; five grandchildren, Gina Medora, Myra Medora, Karissa (Cody) Covington, Deryk Smith and Dawson Smith; siblings, Donna Yache and Gerry Smith and numerous family and friends.
Besides his parents and wife of 59 years, he was preceded in death by a sister, Rose Marie Watson and in-laws, Charles Watson, Len Yache and Dee Smith.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 1810 N. McDonald St., Appleton, officiated by Rev. Jim Lucas. Family and friends can visit at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Inurnment will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Appleton. Wichmann Funeral Home of Appleton is assisting the family with arrangements.
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