James F. Smith Sr.

Born: Sun., Aug. 12, 1917
Died: Fri., Jun. 17, 2011

- Service details not available -


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James F. Smith Sr., 93, formerly of Anna, Ohio died at Dorothy Love Retirement Community, Sidney, Ohio on June 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM. He was born on August 12, 1917 in Torrent, Kentucky to Pearl Parsons Smith and William Smith who are deceased. Also predeceased are a loving step-mother, Eva Gray Smith, three sisters and six brothers. The family found their way to Ohio and in 1938 Jim met his wife, the former Helen Rose Cardone of Lima, Ohio, who passed away on July 31, 2010. They were married 71 years. Jim and Helen raised their family in Anna and they became an active part of the community. Jim was a railroad telegrapher on the B and O (CSX) railroad 40 years. He worked in Lima and Toledo before being moved to Anna Station. After it was closed he transferred as a telegraph operator and freight agent to Botkins, Troy, and Wapakoneta. He is now referred to as a 'Silent Key' as this term is used when an operator has passed away. Jim also owned Smitty's Radio and TV sales and service in Anna for 25 (1946-1971). He installed the first TV antenna in Anna at his home. It was only natural that he became an avid HAM Radio operator and became an Extra Class operator as Morse code was not a problem. He was a member of the Piqua Amateur Radio Club MM Net and his call letters were K8QQE. He was never happier than when he was fishing in Ohio or Florida, hunting in Montana or Wyoming, working in his garden, playing his guitar, or painting one of the many farm houses or barns all over Shelby County. (He was a professional house painter before joining the railroad). Jim was a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, McCartyville, Ohio for the past 25 years. He was so appreciative of the eucharistic ministers who brought communion every Sunday and the family wishes to thank them for their ministry. Also his pastor, Father John Tonkin, was a great spiritual support for him and his family. We Thank You. Their was a special friend, Leo Steinke, who drove Jim on the first Saturday of every month to Lima, where they had breakfast with retired railroad friends. Jim is survived by his daughter, Patricia (George) Koehl of Hertford, North Carolina and a son, James F. 'Bud' Smith Jr. and wife Virginia of Tipp City, Ohio; six grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. Juanita Wright of Troy, Ohio and Mrs. Janice (George) Snowden of Sidney, Ohio and many nieces and nephews. The family expresses our heartfelt 'thanks' to Dr. Miller and all the staff at Dorothy Love Retirement Community from his time in Independent Living thru Assisted Living and then his final one and a half years in Skilled nursing. Everyone who touched his life was so special to him. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in McCartyville on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM with Father John Tonkin. Burial will follow at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Cemetery, McCartyville. Friends may call at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of the mass. Salm-McGill and Tangeman Funeral Home in Sidney is handling the funeral arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Building Fund, 9333 St. Route 119 West, Anna, Ohio 45302; Dorothy Love Life Care Fund, 3003 W. Cisco Road, Sidney, Ohio 45365; or Wilson Home Health and Hospice, 915 W. Michigan St., Sidney, Ohio 45365. Envelopes will be available at the church. Condolences may be expressed to the Smith family on Salm-McGill and Tangeman Funeral Home's web site at: www.salm-mcgillandtangemanfh.com

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David "Ricky" Boccia

Patty and Buddy, We are very sorry for your loss of "Uncle Jim". To this day, my fondest memory from my childhood was the fishing trip with Uncle Jim to Canada. What a time we had. And I can still hear him laugh when telling the story of how scared I was when the storm came up on us while we were out in the boat. I am sure Aunt Helen is joyous having Uncle Jim by her side once again. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. David and Jean Boccia and family Union, KY

Mike and Debbie Smith, Belmont NC

We express our deepest sympathy to all members of the Smith Family. Uncle Jim will be greatly missed. Sorry we can not be with you during this time, but all of you will be in our prayers. Much Love to each one of You.

Scott Trostel

Smitty has passed to the great railroad beyond. In the early 1970s, prior to his accident I visited with him many times at Botkins and Wapakoneta on the B and O. I well recall him spending mornings at the Botkins station. When he finished his paperwork, the tlelgraph which was in its final year in 1971, would be used to telegraph a message to Leo Steinke at Sidney or and operator in Lima. Sometimes it was just chat, other times it was railroad business, all speedily tapped out in a steam of dots and dashes. Then the guitar came out and he strummed many favorites, periodically throwing in a vocal solo. The music was lively and the tunes were old time favorites. The nieghborhood kids would come to visit when husic bounded from the door He spent time looking after a young boy who used to show up, and whose father had recently excpired back then. He felt it his duty to befriend that boy. Another time I stopped by at Wapak to visit him and a train was coming by. It stopped suddenly and we heard sirens. Smitty was sure the two events were connected so he reached for the phone only to find it dead. He ask me to investigate the events while he reported the phone problem. When I arrived back at the station with a police report he was livid. A railroad employee who had worked at the station prior to his assignment there has run up a $1,200 phone bill, which the railroad refused to pay. For my part I reported the town drunk had walked into the side of the train and bounced off. A witness thought the man was dead, but he came too and stood up, none-the-worse-for-wear. We had a good laugh and he called the dispatcher in Dayton to report the delay of train. He used to tell the story that his father had worked at "AK" tower on the south side of Wapak and during summer months, when the windows would be open, there was another telegrapher who drove past and with his car horn, in Morse Code he would tap out the call letters "AK" Smitty dad knew who it was going by at that moment. I once ask Smitty where he leaned telegraphy. He repsoned, while writing up a way bill; "All of us boys learned at Kirkwiid, dad was the agent/telegraph operator there." Smitty's time on the railroad will live on as part of an improtant era in railroading and with a few color stories. I extend my sympathy to the Smith family and hope these stroeis bing a bit of joy. Scott Trostel Fletcher, Ohio

Joyce Stewart

My sincerest sympathy to you and your family,on the loss of your Dad. I knew your Dad, and Mom, from the Catholic Hour services,each Thursday at Dorothy Love. I am one of a group of ladies from Holy Angels, as well as, Sacred Heart in McCartyville,who have the pleasure each week of spending time with the Catholic residents at Dorothy Love. Your Dad was a very dear person. I looked forward each week to seeing him, and talking with him. I will miss him. Most Sincerely, Joyce Stewart

Donnie Noble

Dear Buddy and Patty, I am so sorry to learn of Uncle Jim passing on into Heaven. I did not know Aunt Helen did too, I am so sorry for our loss of a great man and woman. I have a ship made of wood,felt,brass tacks and strings from Uncle Jim hanging on my wall that I look at every day. And the Tru-Temper Uni-spin fishing pole he gave me has always been my favorite and the kind I still use till this day when I am able to go fishing , along with a couple lures and Penn salt water reels he gave me oh so many years ago. He took me fishing at a farm pond around Anna someplace and I have never forgotten it and gave me a love seat and when I went to get it accidently got him in trouble when he was showing me the electric "nightcrawler shockers" that almost killed him and Aunt Helen came out into the garage and said to him " I thought you threw that thing away" oops.. Thank you Uncle Jim for all the fond memories and gifts I will forever cherish and for taking me fishing. I know my loving father could not bring himself to take me fishing and we all understand why, I miss my parents so much every day and hope to see them and all again one day. You had great parents and I know you will miss them as much as I do mine , I cry everyday wishing I could have made them proud of me. I love you all and you are in my prayers. Love, Cousin Donnie

Donnie Noble

Dear Aunt Nita and Aunt Janice, I am so sorry for the loss of your brother and I have always admired Moms family and your closeness and all the visits to Grandma's and can still picture her home and I the plaques mom and Aunt Nita painted and have them on the walls here. The Boy and Girl Plaques standing on the bridge (in China) which hung on the south wall in Grandma's living room and the House with chickens and birdhouse and birds and hollyhocks that hung in her kitchen. I sure wish i could have known Grandpa Smith , My Mother loved you all so much and My father did too and I sure envy such a great family Mom had/has and I love you very much. I am glad I have those things on my walls to remember daily how good life was as a youngster and photos of reunions and everyone. Love, Donnie

Robert Alexander Family

(Robert---Jim's roomate at Dorothy Love) So sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy goes to all of you. I met a sister in the room the day she came from NC and my heart ached for you. Jim was a very special man and a fantastic roommate for my father. I still remember, each time I asked if he wanted me to get him some ice cream, or chocolate......his answer was always, "Why sure!". H e relally liked that chocolate!. Blessings to all.