Leslie James ‘Jim’ Smith

HAMILTON, Mont. – Jim Smith, 87, passed away on Feb. 16, 2013, at the Marcus Daly Hospice Center.

Jim was born in Red Jacket, Mich., on July 7, 1925, to Leslie and Laura (Halsey) Smith. He attended Escanaba High School and worked on the family mink ranch. After school he married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Wicklander. He joined the Army and served as a radio operator in England and China. Jim and Shirley had two children Leslee and Lee.

When Jim returned from the service he worked for a bakery delivering bread to Marquette.

In 1955 he moved his family to San Diego for the warm weather and to seek his fortune. After working for a short time at an aircraft plant, he decided he enjoyed being outside and working more closely with people. He went to work for Orowheat Bakery and had a large route in downtown San Diego. He retired from the bakery at age 55 and became the manager of a Mobile Home Park in Santee, Calif.

Jim loved life and his family. He also enjoyed golf, dancing and traveling. He and Shirley belonged to a pinochle club, square danced and saw a lot of the world on cruise ships. Shirley passed away in 1985.

In 2005, Jim moved to San Clemente to be near his son. When Lee retired to Virginia, Jim’s daughter wanted him close to her in Montana where he resided at the Discovery Care Center since 2008. He enjoyed bingo, poker and the many music and outdoor programs.

Jim is survived by his sister, Helen Winker of Escanaba; his daughter, Leslee (Bill) Engler of Corvallis, Mont.; his son, Lee (Rebecca) Smith of Buchanan, Va.; seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, one great-grandson and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Shirley; sister, Merle Hermanson; and brother, Bill Smith.

Services will be held in Alpine, Calif., were he will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife Shirley.