jsmith01GREENVILLE, Ky. (4/19/14) — Master Sergeant retired James Hunter Smith (Jim) of Eddyville, KY, aged 76, died suddenly on December 11, 2013 in Eddyville from injuries sustained in a traffic accident.

Jim was born March 4, 1937 in Sanford, ME to the late Edward Smith and Hazel Della Hunter Smith.  He graduated from Sanford High School in 1956 and later in life earned a BA from Indiana University.  During high school, Jim joined the 103rd Regimental Combat Team of the Maine National Guard and after graduation requested active duty in the US Army. He was a paratrooper and a special forces Ranger.  He served as a military advisor during two tours in Vietnam, one from 1964-1965 and another in 1968.  During this service, he earned a Purple Heart, five Bronze Stars and two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry awards, among other decorations. He served in the US Army for 22 years, 16 of which were in combat, with posts in the US, Germany and Korea. Jim was also an ROTC instructor at Princeton University, NJ.  Upon retirement from the Army, he worked at Culver Military Academy from 1977-1992 as a military training instructor, an instructor at Culver summer schools and camps and also served as an Assistant to the Commandant of the Corps of Cadets. Jim also taught history.

Jim played football in high school and was a prolific painter of oil, pastel and water color paintings. He sang tenor and played both trumpet and harmonica.  He spoke fluent Vietnamese.  In 1990, Jim wrote and published a novel, “Will the Sun Rise Tomorrow” based on his military advisory experiences in Vietnam.

Jim is survived by his wife Margie Loretta Rolley Smith of Eddyville, KY, his daughters Cathy Sleeper of South Thomaston, ME and Kim Baer of Chesterton, IN and his sister Betty Lazar of Princeton, NJ.  He was previously married to Janis Renee Fry Smith, deceased, of Royal Center IN. James Hunter Smith was a modern Renaissance man who loved fully and was fully loved in return.  He will be greatly missed.

A service of remembrance and celebration will be conducted Friday morning April 25, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West 5817 Fort Campbell Blvd Hopkinsville, KY 42240 with Full Military Honors. A Celebration of life will be held at Pioneer’s  904 N Main St. Hopkinsville, KY 42240 after the Service. Expressions of sympathy may be made to a favorite charity or food bank. Gary’s Funeral Home Greenville, KY are in charge of arrangements.

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Posted on 2/2/14

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