James "Jim" Carrol Smith, 72, returned to his heavenly home on Aug. 22, 2017 after a valiant battle with lifelong muscular dystrophy.
His devotion to his family and his firm belief in God supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him peace. He is dearly missed by his loved ones, who celebrate the fact that he is at peace with his Creator.
Jim was born to the late Richard and Helen McVicker Smith in Fairmont, on May 13, 1945, and grew up in the Watson area. He graduated from Fairmont Senior High School in 1963.
After serving in the Army Reserves, he graduated from Fairmont State College in 1968. He later earned his master's degree from West Virginia University.
He married his best friend, Betty Sandy Smith, on Dec. 31, 1969, in Oakland, Maryland Jim was deeply in love with his wife and was her biggest fan.
Jim helped raise his three children with patience, discipline and humility. He taught them dedication to God, the value of hard work and treating people with respect. This wonderful father encouraged his kids to lead lives of service.
He was particularly fond of being a grandparent to Sophia and Marleigh playing Legos, giving rides on his wheelchair and enjoying their God-given talents.
Jim was an educator at heart. He began his career as a school teacher at Follansbee High School and then taught at Brooke High School during its first 10 years before entering full-time work as an evangelist for the Church of Christ. Jim loved the Lord and his church. He spent his life studying the word, speaking God's truths and ministering to his people within the church and his community.
He served as a pulpit minister and led gospel meetings, teacher workshops, church camps and pulpit ministry throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and North Carolina for almost 50 years.
Jim is survived by his wife, Betty; his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Joe, Michelle and Marleigh Smith of Edmond, Oklahoma; his daughter and granddaughter, Laura Smith and Sophia Smith-Morrison of Santa Barbara, California; his daughter, Ursula Smith of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; his sisters, Becky (Jim) Stallard of Sevierville, Tennessee, and Debbie (Phil) Larkins of Brooksville, Florida; his brothers, Danny (Donna) Smith of Leavenworth, Kansas, and Mark Smith of San Diego, California; his mother-in-law, Mineko McClure of Fairmont; his aunt, Joann Smith of Clarksburg; his sister-in-law, Sharon (Bob) Pickrell of Front Royal, Virginia; his brother-in-law, Joe (Irella) Sandy of Fairmont; his brother-in-law, Lester (Roberta) Sandy of Havana, Florida; and many dearly loved nieces and nephews.
Jim donated his body to the West Virginia University Human Gift Registry to support health teaching and research missions.
A celebration of Jim's life is planned for 2 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Weirton Heights Church of Christ, 3169 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton. The family gratefully declines flowers and asks that any donations be made to either the Muscular Dystrophy Association or the Langeloth Church of Christ.
Published on August 27, 2017