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On January 17th, 2021, in Lawton, OK, Jim Virgil Smith, succumbed to a hard-fought battle with COVID-19. Jim was the eldest son of Sue Caldwell Smith and James Virgil Smith, born in Bartlesville, OK, on March 19, 1955 where Jim lived until 1979 when he moved to Norman, OK to attend OU on a NROTC scholarship. Jim went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Trade and Industrial Education from OSU in July 1999.
In 1982 Jim married the great love of his life, Joani Smith, in Oklahoma City. She was everything that he had always wanted in a partner and they shared 38 years of marriage together while residing in Frederick, OK. Frederick had been the town that he spent his summers as a child working on the farm with his Uncle Benton and ultimately it became the town where he started his family. On April 26th, 1995, Jim and Joani welcomed their pride and joy, Jesse, to their family, making them complete.
Jim’s life was not short of achievement. To say that he kept busy would be putting it lightly, but what made his “busy” unique was his driving force to ensure that the community he is leaving behind is better than when he found it.
In 1990, Jim began working with Case IH and was instrumental in bringing the Case IH Pro Harvest Safety Kick Off Meeting to Frederick. In 1991, he followed in his mother’s footsteps and began teaching at the Great Plains Technology Center, where he taught all the way up to his last days.
Jim was a reserved deputy with the Tillman County Sheriff Department starting in 2001, was Captain of the reserve deputies, and to round out his career he was awarded Reserve Deputy of the Year in 2013 by the Tillman County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association. In 2003, he was appointed a City Councilman. In April 2008, he became a master mason, in April 2009, a 32nd degree mason, and in November 2019, he was awarded 32nd KCCH. After several inspired years of working the fourth of July firework show at Lake Frederick, Jim and his family worked together with Western Enterprises putting on firework shows for other cities around the country starting in 2012. Jim was also a member of the Sheppard Military Affairs Committee (SMAC) since February 27, 2014, which is an organization in local communities that support the military base and families. He was a part of the Scottish Rite, the Frederick Masonic Lodge, and the President of the Historical Society from 2016-2017, and currently serving as Vice Mayor of Fredrick. On top of all the aforementioned groups and activities that Jim was a part of, he and his family also farmed 160 acres in Tillman County.
To know Jim, was to love him. He had a signature smile that was contagious and no matter who you were, he was able to captivate you with one of his great stories, his arsenal of history facts, or his impeccable cooking skills. He was an avid reader, loved his guns, Labrador, and visiting Disney World, so much so, that he and Joani took his sons graduating class there for their Senior trip. It was nearly impossible to walk away from a conversation with him without looking forward to the next one.
He leaves behind a hole in our hearts and in his community that will be everlasting, but for all those who were blessed to know him, know that their lives will forever be enriched because of him.
Mr. Smith is survived by his adoring wife, Joani Smith, his faithful son, Jesse Smith, his loving sister, Cindy Smith; her husband, Bob Delaney, his brother in law, Don Terrell and wife Carla, his nieces, nephews, cousins, and life-long friends.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 22, 2021 at 11:00 am at the Orr Gray Gish Funeral Home chapel with a gravesite service to follow with Military Honors, Masonic Rites and Bagpiper. A live stream of the memorial will be available on their Facebook page.
Orr Gray Gish & Tipton Funeral Homes
111 N. 11th Street
Frederick, OK 73542
"Service Beyond Expectation"
Friday, January 22, 2021
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
Orr Gray Gish Chapel
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