SFC James Arthur Smith
November 16, 1977- September 28, 2019
SFC James Arthur Smith was called to be with the Lord on Saturday September 28, 2019. He was forty-one years young. James was born on November 16, 1977 in Granada Hills, California. A child of Huntington Beach, James was raised by his parents Jenny and Wallace Smith, also of Granada Hills. A dedicated public servant, James served his nation and community as a fireman, marine, and soldier in the U.S. Army with a total of fourteen years of active military duty. He achieved a Bachelor’s Degree 2015.
James was an outgoing and generous man. Always the life of the party, he was regularly known as the host and grill master in the community. When he wasn’t planning the next cookout, he was scheduling a movie night with his family, a date night with his wife, or a fishing trip with the guys.
James was an avid runner. Always on the run, he drew great pleasure and pride from his achievements in this regard. One of his most memorable accomplishments was the 2015 Marine Corps half-marathon. However, like his love for grilling, James’ passion for running went beyond himself. He was engaged and enthusiastic, always offering his time and expertise to help soldiers and friends meet their physical fitness goals and requirements. James was notorious among his colleagues for this, and it is said that a solider never failed a PT test after meeting with Sergeant Smith.
Music was more than an interest for James. His library of music was broad and reflective of his California roots and patriotic motivations. He enjoyed west coast rap and classic country music, but most fond of contemporary Christian music. Musically inclined, James could play just about any song on the guitar and fancied himself a opry worthy singer, though many had tried to tell him otherwise.
A man of God, James’ favorite verse was Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. A reflection of his spiritual dedication, James took comfort in this verse as a reminder that God is with us at all times and that life requires, we be courageous and brave to serve Him.
James was proceeded in death by his father, Wallace Smith. He is survived by his loving wife, Sarah M. Smith; two children, Madison Kate and Aubrey Baine; two step-children T. Nute Thompson and Shelby Thompson; two nieces of the home, Emilee Reece and Leavie Reece; his step-father and mother, Steve and Jennie Votaw; and one sister, Kimberly Smith. We are proud to have James as our father and friend who made us better and stronger human beings. We will never forget his loving ways.
For his friends and family that mourn him, may this obituary ignite fond memories of James, who is smiling down upon us, hoping that we take a moment to say hello, go for a run, and remember to smile.
A going home service will be Saturday, October 5, 2019, at Crosspoint Church, (214 Partin Dr S, Niceville, FL 32578), visitation will be beginning at 3:00 pm, and the service following at 4:00 pm.