James Ira "J.I." Smith, age 69, of Exeter, passed away on Saturday, April 3 at his home.
He was born on April 30, 1940, in Barry County, the son of John Smith and Twila (England) Smith.
On June 26, 1960, he was united in marriage to his beloved wife, Shirley Faye Plouch, who survives. Also surviving are three children: Charree Kelly and her husband, Jim of Wheaton; Donna Musick and her husband, Jeff of Purdy; and Mark Smith and his wife, Tabetha of Exeter; and eight grandchildren: Kasey Kelly, Kinsey (Kelly) Kinnaman, Chris Musick, James Musick, Tyler Musick, Kayleb Sparks, Marek Smith and Zane Smith and one great grandchild, Mallory Kelly.
Preceding him in death were his parents; one son, Stephen James and one sister, Peggy.
J.I., as most people knew him, received his education at Ridgley and Wheaton, where he graduated from high school. He was a farmer all of his life, who shared his harvest with all his friends. For 45 years he was employed as a leather cutter for Jumping-Jack's and then Justin Boot Factory, from which he retired. He loved to play slow pitch softball and basketball with the Ridgley Ridge Runners. He enjoyed watching his grandkids play ball and taking walks with them in the fields. He was of the Baptist faith.
Funeral services were held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, in McQueen Funeral Home, in Wheaton. Pastor Paul Wahlert and Pastor Bobby Harrison conducted the services. Burial was in Maplewood Cemetery, Exeter.