James R. Smith, age 77, of Bristol, IL passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, IL. He was born in Aurora, IL on March 5, 1932, the son of Charles and Blanche (Cofer) Smith.
Jim grew up in Montgomery, IL and attended Aurora East High School. He went into the United States Army after high school and served in Germany in the Tank Division and was also a parade soldier. Upon his return from Germany, Jim worked as a Heavy Equipment Operator for T & R Construction Co. for 38 years until it closed. He then went on to work for several other companies until his retirement in 1997. Jim was an Operating Engineer for 55 years and truly loved every minute of his work. Mr. Smith was the former Chief of the South Park Fire Department in Montgomery, IL. Jim was a very positive, caring, happy man who loved his family and friends dearly. He had many friends as he never met a stranger. Jim was a Charter member of the Trinity Church United Methodist of Yorkville, IL where he held various positions. He was also a member of the Operating Engineers Retirees Club and the Yorkville American Legion Post #489. Mr. Smith was, for many years, the caretaker of the Oak Grove Cemetery in Bristol, IL.
James was united in marriage in September of 1953 to the former Miss Frances Scheffler and they spent 18 happy years together until her passing in 1971. Together they had 4 children whom Jim raised alone for 2 years. In 1974 Jim married Dorothea (Dottie) Bossard and they have been happily married for 35 years. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and cousin who will be deeply missed.
He is survived by his wife, Dottie Smith of Bristol, IL; his children, Debra (Rick) Miller of Yorkville, IL, Patricia (Don) Kraber of Albia, IA, Julie (Greg) Kraber of Yorkville, IL and Jim (Colleen) Smith of Aurora, IL; his 12 grandchildren, Heidi, Rick ( Ashley), Heather and Stefanie Miller of Yorkville, IL, Erika and Jay Kraber from Albia, IA, Adam (Kari), Tiffany, Ashley and Kyle Kraber of Yorkville, IL, and Abigail and Rebecca Smith of Aurora, IL; his very special great-grandchild, Adam and Kari Kraber?s daughter, Rachel Kari Kraber; his 3 brothers, Charles (June) Smith of Oswego, IL, Arthur (Marlene) Smith of Plano, IL and Harold (Doris) Smith of Texas; his brother in law, James Bossard of Mequon, WI; his aunt Mildred Hansen of Indiana; as well as many nieces and nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Blanche Smith; his first wife, Frances Smith; his sister Muriel Moore; his nephew, David Smith; and several aunts and uncles.
A Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at the Trinity Church United Methodist, 2505 Boomer Lane in Yorkville, IL with Pastor John Bell, officiating. Interment will follow in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Bristol, IL.
Friends may visit from 4:00 until 9:00 P.M. on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at the Larson-Nelson Funeral Home, 410 E. Countryside Pkwy in Yorkville, IL.
In lieu of flowers, Memorials in Jim?s name may be directed to the Trinity Church United Methodist Building Fund, 2505 Boomer Lane, Yorkville, IL 60560.
Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Homes & Crematory, 630/553-7611 and visit our website at www.nelsonfuneralhomes.com.