James Ross Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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AUGUSTA, Ga. - James Ross Smith, Jr. ("Jim") died on December 26, 2009 at home, surrounded by his family and friends. Graveside funeral services will be held on Friday, January 8m, 2010 at Forestdale Cemetery in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Born in Holyoke on September 4, 1927, the son of James Ross Smith and Alice (McGarvie) Smith, he was a 1946 graduate of Holyoke High School. His wife, Audrey Sybil Miles, died in 1989, after 40 years of marriage. James held a BS degree from Rollins College in Florida and MEd and CAGS degrees from American International College. He served in the United States Army and Air Force for 22 years -- through three wars WWII, Korea and Vietnam -- in various roles including Special Agent for the Office of Special Investigations and as Instrumentation and Telemetry Specialist in the Space Program. During this time, James was stationed in Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, California, New York, and Labrador, before retiring from the Air Force. He then started a second career as teacher and guidance counselor in the Holyoke School System, retiring in 1993 after 25 years. James was an amateur radio operator with the call sign W1RBU and a member of Grace Congregational Church. As a Freemason, he was twice Past Master of Mount Tom Lodge of Masons (AF&AM) and Past High Priest of Holyoke Royal Arch Chapter of Master Masons. He was also a member of St. Andrew's Commandery #49, Order of the Eastern Star, Melha Temple (Shriners) (AAONMS) and was a thirty second degree Scottish Rite Mason in Springfield. James served as District Deputy Grand Secretary of the Massachusetts 17th Masonic District in 1996 and was the recipient of the Joseph Warren Medal and 50 year Veterans Medal from the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. Over two decades, James researched and wrote an exhaustive book of family genealogy. His family will remember the sound of the bagpipes as he practiced and played with both Holyoke and Springfield pipe bands. James is survived by his companion, Chang Woods of Augusta, a daughter, Laurel O'Donnell Lafford (Llewellyn) of New York, a son, James M. Smith (Alison) of Maine, two grandsons, Ryan O'Donnell of Maryland and Joshua Smith of Maine, a granddaughter, Rachel Smith of Maine, one great-grandson, David Smith, brothers-in-law, Gideon Miles (Helen) of Holyoke and Clarence White (Nubia) of Oregon, plus several nephews and cousins. James is also survived by the children of Chang Woods, with whom he held a close relationship: Willie Woods (Crystal), of Hawaii, Frances Mathis (Girard) of Georgia, and Joyce Sumpter (Drew) of Texas, plus their seven children. Visiting hours will be 9:00 to 11:00 AM Friday, January 8, 2010 at Messier Funeral Home, prior to interment at Forestdale Cemetery, both located in Holyoke. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Springfield Shriners Hospital for Children, 516 Carew Street, Springfield, MA 01104-2396. Local arrangements being handled by Elliott Sons Funeral Home, 2524 Lumpkin Road, Augusta, Georgia 30906. Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com

The Augusta Chronicle-January 3, 2010

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