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James Smith Jr.

Posted By obits On March 23, 2015 @ 12:02 pm In Elizabeth City,Obituaries | 39 Comments

2 Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

James Harold Smith, Jr., 41 of Elizabeth City, NC lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Friday, March 20, 2015. His family is consoled because he was victorious over death, as he has joined our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in heaven. A native of Dermott, AR he was the son of the late James Harold Smith, Sr. and Susan Crist Bakel of Atlanta, GA, and the devoted husband of Lydia Smith of Mobile, AL.

Besides his mother and wife, Jim leaves behind three cherished sons, Gavin, Brody and Noah Smith; a loving brother, Scott Smith and wife Payton of Crossett, AR; nephews, nieces, in-laws whom considered him their own, aunts, uncles, cousins and a multitude of true friends.

Jim proudly served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 21 years and achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. He was a great family man who had a real big heart and an unforgettable smile. Jim loved backyard barbecues, hiking the Appalachian Trail, and cheering on his beloved razorbacks. He was a member of Towne South Church of Christ and is eternally grateful for their role in bringing him back to the Lord. He was best known as an outstanding leader, a great mentor and an even better friend.

In lieu of flowers, Jim requested that donations be made for finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. Please go to https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/CWOJimSmith/KeeptheMemoryAlive and make a donation. Please also consider donations to Town South Church of Christ as they were instrumental in nurturing his relationship with God. Blue skies and tail winds.

A memorial service will be held at the Elizabeth City Coast Guard Base, west end of Building 79 ALC on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Twiford Funeral Home, Memorial Chapel, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is assisting the Smith family.

You may express condolences to the family by visiting https://www.twifordfh.com.

Contact Information:

Twiford Funeral Home (Elizabeth City), Memorial Chapel, 405 East Church Street, , Elizabeth City 27909, United States (US) - Phone: (252) 335-4395 Fax: 252-335-4329

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Condolences for the family of “James Smith Jr.”

Condolence from Warren on March 23rd, 2015 2:03 pm

By far one of the best people I have known. Jim was the first to show up, chainsaw in hand, after the hurricane, the first to volunteer at work for any task, and the first to admit that he was addicted to the band Better than Ezra.
Jim inspired me to be a t better man and more importantly, a better father. I will always thank God for bringjnhg you and your amazing ly strong wife into my life to show ME how to be a better father and man. You are deeply missed brother.

Condolence from Breanna Bradbury on March 23rd, 2015 2:10 pm

I’m not sure that I ever saw Jim without a big smile on his face! He made everyone feel like they were important. He was an amazing example of what a father, husband, friend, and son of God should be. We will miss him and we send all our love to Lydia and the boys and the rest of his family.-The Bradbury Family

Condolence from Paul Holland on March 23rd, 2015 2:56 pm

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Heavenly Father, I lift up this family to you . Please comfort and protect them, give them peace and rest as they grieve the loss of a wonderful father, husband,son , brother and friend.

Condolence from Taya Kaufenberg on March 23rd, 2015 3:49 pm


I would like to send my deepest condolences of love and kindness for your family. Smitty was a wonderful man and though I haven’t spoken with him for years I will never forget what a special person he truly was. I was stationed with him in New Orleans many years ago (1993-1996). He was an easy friend and a kind soul.

God Bless.

Taya Kaufenberg

Condolence from Don and Nancy Carter on March 23rd, 2015 4:07 pm

Lydia and boys, our hearts are heavy and ache with you. You are in our prayers; may the God of all comfort

and peace calm your hearts and fears at such a time as this.

Condolence from Jan & Buddy Awana on March 23rd, 2015 6:11 pm

We send our most sincere and lovng condolances to Jim’s family. Jim was the very best neighbor one could ever ask for. His love for God and family was expressed in the way he interacted with his boys and Lydia! Always respectful to us as were his boys. Jim always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face when standing out in the yard just talking! Always willing to help out when there was a need! May God continue to wrap His loving arms around Lydia and the family as He will bring comfort and peace in the days ahead! We will miss you neighbor!!
Ms. Jan and Mr. Buddy

Condolence from Jeannie Williams on March 23rd, 2015 6:35 pm

You have my deepest sympathy. Mourning shall endure for the night but joy shall come in the morning.i didn’t know Mr.Smith but this obituary caught my eye it started with a scripture.i would like to thank Mr.Smith for his service to our country and most importantly i can see he loved the Lord. God bless you..

Condolence from The Pitchfords on March 23rd, 2015 6:43 pm

May we all find comfort and peace through the memories of Jim and his happy-go-lucky spirit. Our sincerest condolences . He will be greatly missed.. Our prayers and thoughts are with those who loved and respected him.

Buffy, Robert “Pitch,” and Alexandra

Condolence from Vickie Barrett on March 23rd, 2015 10:09 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. When I taught him way back in the eighth grade and he was still Jimmy, he was a special young man. He was always had a smile. You are in my prayers.

Condolence from Judy Baxter on March 23rd, 2015 10:27 pm

Lydia, Gavin, Brody & Noah, Just want you know how much I Love each of you as I did Jimmy, He was almost like one of mine, He will certainly be missed & was Loved by so many. My heart goes out to you and boys Lydia, and to Susan & Scott. Just keep the faith and you will be fine. My Love to you.

Condolence from Sandy Shockley Towles on March 23rd, 2015 10:52 pm

May God give you peace during this difficult time. I have the sweetest memories of Jimmy and my daughter, Kim growing up as neighbor kids. Time passed without seeing him but anytime I would hear about him it was always the sane sweet loving person that I’d known in his early years. I will keep your family in n y prayers for the days ahead. Sandy Towles

Condolence from Ashley Williams on March 23rd, 2015 10:57 pm

Praying for you and your family Lydia!

Condolence from Annette Allison Posey on March 23rd, 2015 11:33 pm

Praying for Susan. A McGehee classmate and for James wife and Children. I am also a Member of The Church of Christ in McGehee Ar. God Be With You until you meet again in Heaven.

Condolence from Brooke & Paul Kelley on March 24th, 2015 5:47 am

He’s only gone on ahead of you,
Not just left you behind.
Although you can’t be with him right now,
He lives on in your heart and mind.

The day will come when you’ll meet again
On Heaven’s distant shore,
And the two of you will walk hand in hand
Together forever more.

Condolence from Kevin and Jenny Routten on March 24th, 2015 7:52 am

Lydia, words cannot begin to describe how heartbroken I am for you and your family. You were blessed to be given a wonderful husband and father for your children. Jim had one of the most infectious smiles of anyone I have ever known. Please know that if you need anything, we are here for you. We love you.

Condolence from Michael & Tisha Hayes on March 24th, 2015 8:25 am

Been thinking of all of you for some time. Jimmy was a great guy – he loved his family! Glad we could always spend time when he was in Lake Village. Love you all!

Condolence from Angela Fiedler on March 24th, 2015 8:57 am

I would like to extend my condolences to the family, to Lydia, Gavin, Brody and Noah, I am praying for you and want you to know that I am sorry for your loss, your dad and your husband was a wonderful man . My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time, your “Dolphin Family” is here for you. God Bless you all

Love, Angela Fiedler

Condolence from Dennis & Judy MCKee on March 24th, 2015 9:25 am

Susan, Scott, Lydia and Family, words cannot describe how sad I am for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you . Susan, my dear Friend, you know I love you very much and I know your faith in God and in His wisdom will see you thru this saddest time in your life. May God wrap His loving arms around you and Scott and Jim’s loving Family and hold you tight. Love and Prayers for you all.

Condolence from Ashley Radtke on March 24th, 2015 11:16 am

So terribly sorry for your unimaginable loss. CWO Smith’s family and loved ones have been at the forefront of my thoughts and prayers.

Condolence from Melissa Steinbrink on March 24th, 2015 12:07 pm

Jake and I enjoyed going through old pics yesterday from parties and our trip to Rome. Jim is always smiling in nearly every pic we have of him. He was “that guy” who could tell a great story and have us in tears with every tale. Wonderful memories. Much love from all of us.

Condolence from Kathy and Earl Ashley on March 24th, 2015 12:42 pm

“Jimmy” , as he was known in Lake Village, was never without a smile! He was a wonderful man, son, Father and husband. He will be missed by all. Thanks for being a part of our lives. To Lydia and the boys, you have and will always remain in our thoughts and prayers. Take care of yourselves and continue to allow God to be in control and He will take care of you.
Love to all-

Condolence from Kathy Adams on March 24th, 2015 1:22 pm

I have no words to express how deeply sorry I am to hear about Jim. I hope comfort washes over you knowing Jim is safe in Gods care. I will always hold my memories with you and Jim close to my heart. You are in my prayers with heartfelt sympathy.
Kathy Adams

Condolence from Marsha Dupwe McVey on March 24th, 2015 2:17 pm

I am so sorry for your loss…I am praying for you and all of the family.

Condolence from Prissy Melder Lackey on March 24th, 2015 2:32 pm

Susan my heart goes out to you and your family. What a handsome young man and father that left us too soon. I know you have comfort in knowing that he is with our Lord and Savior. I pray for you and the rest of his family. May the peace of Christ surround each of you in this time of need.

Prissy Melder Lackey

Condolence from Ken Laffely on March 24th, 2015 5:18 pm

Lydia, Gavin, Brody & Noah my deepest sympathy and prayers.

I only have praise for Jim’s life and gratitude for knowing him and to call him friend. His drive for living and examples he set, made me better person and the world a better place. Thank you Jim for all your gifts you gave us.

Condolence from Elaine Bowden on March 24th, 2015 7:08 pm

Susan, Lydia & Family, My heart breaks for all of you in the loss of Jim. He was a fine young man & such a wonderful father, husband & son. Please find comfort in knowing he is now in the arms of Jesus. I will continue to pray for all of you.

Condolence from Susan Kniss on March 24th, 2015 7:13 pm

Always sad when a teacher loses a former student. Jimmy was well loved by all. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Condolence from Yvonne Douglas Sheffield on March 24th, 2015 9:17 pm

Susan, Lydia and your sweet sons, I am so sorry for your loss. May the coming days bring you all peace and may you always feel Jimmy’s love within and around you.

Condolence from David and Kirsten Kelley on March 24th, 2015 11:14 pm

We are so blessed that we have shared some of our best moments with you and Lydia! Being back here in Elizabeth City reminds me of so many things that we all used to do when we were all stationed together. It was my first move away from my family and the same for Lydia and you guys quickly became our family. Late nights of card games, cookouts and many holidays spent together when we couldn’t afford to make it home. We will never forget all of the laughs we had and all of the times that you came to help our family when we needed something. We will watch over and protect Lydia and the boys forever. Love and miss you!!

Condolence from Lisa on March 25th, 2015 8:21 am

You shall live in the hearts of those who loved you and will this never die or be forgotten. RIP James!

God bless!

Lisa, Bailey, Jasmine & Asia

Condolence from Chris Morrett, CWO on March 25th, 2015 10:43 am

Jim is one of those guys that can make you smile, even if you’re stressed, nervous or having less-than-a-good day. In the short time I’ve known him, he loved his family, his friends and he loved to celebrate life. He is an awesome Coastguardsman and he will be missed. My prayers to Jim and his family.

Condolence from Frank and Leslie Carswell on March 25th, 2015 11:23 am

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12

My wife (Leslie) met Jim and Lydia late last year as she was completing her chemo treatments for stage 3C ovarian cancer at Duke. At the time Leslie had prayed, ” Please God send me something or someone to help me because I do not want to complete my last treatments.” God answered her prayer the next morning when Leslie met Lydia who was knitting on a loom in the chemo lab’s waiting area. They began sharing about their cancers and how it was effecting their lives when out came Jim with that infectious smile and Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He encouraged Leslie to continue her fight against cancer and told her that with God all things are possible. It is a sight to behold to see Christians handle themselves when the Fiery Trial is upon them. God wove Jim and Lydia paths into our lives to answer a specific prayer that cold winter morning. What a true blessing it was to meet Jim and Lydia that day and the Fridays that followed at Duke. Praise God, Leslie finished her chemo treatments! Thank you Jim and Lydia for suffering for God’s GLORY and helping Leslie find hope and strength again.

Condolence from Melvin Priddy on March 25th, 2015 11:47 am

Jim was a great Christian man who led by example. He was always cordial and approachable. His beautiful family is in our prayers. We will miss Jim who is a light who has passed on before us.

Condolence from Henry Olsen, retired CWO4 on March 25th, 2015 4:48 pm

My wife and I are praying for you and your family at this time of need. Knowing Jim was a child of the Lord our Father gives great comfort to the heart and soul. Also Jim is pain free and in the arms of the Father and will be watching over you and your children until you join in him in Heaven. In Christ we are joined, in death we are in Heaven!

Condolence from James and Beverly Vozzella on March 25th, 2015 5:56 pm


We cannot begin to describe our sadness for your loss. I remember when we first met you and Jim, it was in NYC when the Coast Guard Foundation awarded your Jim and my Jim with East Coast Rescue Case of the Year, 1998 . They flew in a hurricane together and it was my husbands last rescue case and your husbands first. Your husband was a hero and we were proud to call him a friend. God Bless you and your lovely children , we will hold you all close in our prayers.
Jim, Beverly, Brianne, Nick, and Haley

Condolence from Richard & Valerie Payne on March 25th, 2015 6:21 pm

Dear Lydia, Noah, Gavin, and Brody,
We did not know Jim, but our son – Reagan Payne – shared with us Jim’s struggle with cancer and what a phenomenal husband , father and friend he was. Though your hearts are aching today, we hope that in the very near future you can all gain comfort in the knowledge that Jim is in Heaven (no longer suffering), and he will for ever be in your hearts.
With deepest sympathy,
Richard and Valerie Payne

Condolence from Uncle Craig and Aunt Patty on March 26th, 2015 4:49 pm

We will forever remember Jimmy for his unwavering commitment to God, Country and family. May he rest in the blessed peace of our Lord and Savior.

Condolence from Dorsey & Cathy Johr on March 26th, 2015 9:28 pm

We are sad to hear of Jim’s passing. We will pray without ceasing for Lydia and her boys.
To God be the glory! Jim was faithful to the very end. God is glorified through the faithful. Many lives have been touched through Jim and Lydia’s struggles with cancer! We will not be shaken! Though Jim has been called to heaven to be with The Lord, we will remain faithful and strong in the Grace of our Lord!
We loved Jim and miss him dearly but our fond memories of him keep him alive in our heart!
We continue to pray for Lydia and the boys to have peace, knowing that Jim is with our Lord and we will see him again.
Our deepest condolences, Dorsey and Cathy Johr

Condolence from Nancy Lunsford on March 26th, 2015 11:25 pm

Susan, my dear friend what does one say to a mother that just lost her first born child. My heart is so heavy now for you and his wife and young sons and can only imagine the pain you must feel. So sorry for your loss, may God be with you and comfort you! Stay strong and he will see you through this tragedy.

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