Jim “Judge” Smith, 92, of Higginsville, died March 26th at the Shirkey Nursing Home in Richmond
James Arthur Smith was born in a farm house ten miles north of Lebanon, Missouri on the 26th day of October 1923, the son of Claude Smith and Luetta Butcher Smith. The old house still stands and is occupied. Moved from there when I was ten years old to near Malta Bend, Missouri and finished school there. I helped my parents on the farm until I was 20 years old, when I married Eula Mae Green on February 24, 1944. Shortly after that, I took over the farming operation and my parents moved to the city of Marshall, Missouri. Five children were born to our union ~ Jimmy Dean August 1945, Lana Jo
February 1949, Phyllis Jean December 1952, Mark Aaron November 1955, Gregory Robert March 1959. Jimmy Dean passed away October 30, 1995. First part of 1959 started building "Smitty's Drive Inn" in Higginsville, and finished in August. Moved the family to Higginsville and opened for business about the middle of August 1959. I was in debt over my head and had three bad years and family of five was looking for something to be brought home. I thank the Lord for helping me get through it all. Never missed a payment to my creditors. Thank God. Things got better as we went along. As the children got old enough, they began to help me. What a blessing they were ~ Every one of them! Most of the time after closing, I would have two-three hours work to do. My helpers were wonderful ~ I still call them my kids. I just fell in love with them and all of my customers.
In 1972, I was elected to serve as judge of the Municipal Court of Higginsville and served in that capacity for 15 years. In 1980 when the Missouri legislature changed and put some new laws into effect, I was one of six judges appointed as a committee by the State Courts Administrators office to explain to every Municipal Judge in the state the changes and at the end of the session, test them and grade them. In the month of March, 1999, I had six-bypass open heart surgery ~ at that time I was responsible for 35 rentals. That caused a slow-down to say the least.
This has been a thumbnail sketch of my life as I have lived. As you read this, I will be enjoying my heavenly inheritance.
"Just as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; continue in this love of mine" John 15:9
He is survived by
2 Sons: Mark Smith (Victoria) of Gulf Shores, AL
Greg Smith of Waverly
2 Daughters: Lana Case (Charles) of Richmond
Phyllis Trevino of Higginsville
Daughter-in-law: Grachia Smith of Sweet Springs
12 grandchildren:Chrislyn, Janetta, Timothy Smith; Rachel, Lucas, Caleb Case; Carey Johnson, Brislyn Trevino; Preston Smith; Briana Gray, Ciara Blankenship, Satchel Smith 9 Great grandchildren:Cabot, Sadie Brown; Fletcher, Peyton Johnson; Drew, Will, Nora Gray; Lyric Trevino; and Lynnie 2 great, great grandchildren:Isabella, Aella Brown
He was preceded in death by a son, Jimmy Dean Smith; four brothers, Captain John, Austin, Merle, Dennis Smith; three sisters, Ruth Berry, Rena Shull, Galena Hartman
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 29th at noon at Kaiser ~Wiegers Funeral Home, officiated by Pastor Jack Blansit of the New Life Assembly of God Church in Oak Grove,
Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral.
Casket Bearers are Satchel Smith, Tim Smith, Caleb Case, Lucas Case, Rick Johnson, Fletcher Johnson
He will be buried in the City Cemetery
Memorials are suggested to Shirkey Hospice and Palliative Care