James “Jim” Stafford Smith died Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009 in Langley.
In Jim’s final hours, he was surrounded by family in his own home.
Jim was born February 10, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pa. to Genevieve and John Smith. Jim graduated from Natrona County High School in Casper, Wyo. After attending Casper College, he graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1968.
Jim put his degree in civil engineering to work and moved to the Pacific Northwest to join Boeing. After several years in construction work, he and his wife started a general contracting business, J&L Builders.
While at the University of Wyoming, Jim met Laurie Jane Fossey.
They married June 7, 1967. Their son Michael arrived in 1968 and daughter Jeanne in 1970. In 1975, Jim moved his family to Langley on Whidbey Island.
Jim loved the quiet, laid-back life of Whidbey and spent many years building homes, public service buildings and centers, and remodeling businesses and projects. In his spare time and retirement, Jim spent many hours salmon fishing, golfing, traveling by motor home, assembling puzzles and restoring old Chevrolet cars. Jim enjoyed many longtime friendships, from school days to his friends he cherished around Whidbey.
Jim was a lifelong member of the Roman Catholic Church, a member of the Eagles Aerie No. 3418 and a son of the American Legion Post No. 141.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Laurie Smith of Langley; his daughter Jeanne Carty, husband Shawn and granddaughter Sarah of Bellevue, Idaho; his daughter-in-law DeeAnna Smith and grandchildren Kayla Lawson, Kassie Lawson, Katie Smith and Kurtis Smith of Coupeville.
The family is deeply grateful to the staff and healthcare providers at Providence Cancer Care Alliance and Whidbey Home Health and Hospice.
Jim was preceded in death by his son Michael Smith in September 2007.
A memorial mass was celebrated on Saturday, April 18, at St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, with the Rev. Rick Spicer as celebrant. Burial followed at Langley Cemetery.
The family suggests memorials may be made to the following organizations: Good Cheer Food Bank and Thrift Shop (goodcheer.org), or Habitat for Humanity (habitat.org/donation) or the Everett Gospel Mission (egmission.org).
Arrangements are with the assistance of Whidbey Memorial Funeral and Cremation Service, Inc., 746 NE Midway Blvd.,
Oak Harbor 98277.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest register by going to www.whidbeymemorial.com.