James Smith, 81, of St. Joseph, Missouri, passed away Sunday, September 1, 2019 at a Saint Joseph health care facility. He was born August 8, 1938 in St. Joseph, MO. James attended Benton High School. He joined the U.S. Air Force serving for 8 years during the Vietnam War. He married Claudia Dennison on June 7, 1961 in St.Joseph. James was a handyman. He enjoyed tinkering in his garage, much of that time spent working on small engines. He was a member of the Church of the Brethren. James was preceded in death by parents, Charles and Mary Walker, brothers, David Smith, Bill Smith, and Marion Smith. Survivors include, wife, Claudia Kay Smith of the home, daughter, Mary Kay (Cecil) Ellis of Grain Valley, MO, daughter, Dianna (Steve) Cross of Camden Point, MO, daughter, Teresa (Jim) Dechand of West Field, IN, daughter, Jamie Jackson of St. Joseph, MO, brother, Charles Walker of St. Joseph, grandson, James Rathmann, granddaughters, Mackenzie and Jacqueline Dechand, and Trinity Cross and 5 great-grandchildren and Gracie, the cat. Mr. Smith has been cremated under the care of Rupp Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, September 8, 2019 at the Church of the Brethren, 502 Kentucky St., St. Joseph. Inurnment and Military Honors will be at a later date in Leavenworth National Cemetery. Memorials are requested to the Alzheimers Association. Online condolences and obituary at www.ruppfuneral.com.
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