James Theodore Smith (Bigg Jim), born October 5, 1933 in Megs, Georgia, passed on August 12, 2014. Born to Ernest and Lucille, he was raised in Mississippi. Jim was an amazing football player in high school. He served his country in the US Navy. Following the Navy, he worked as a plant manager for Kellogg’s Cereal in California. At the same time, he worked on painting and acquiring several homes.
Jim later married Dorothy Cardenas-Pastrana who also worked at the Kellogg’s plant. They raised their family in San Leandro, California, where Jim built their home. The next portion of his life, Jim brought the family to Yakima where he purchased and farmed his first apple orchard. Jim went on to farm over 600 acres including apples, pears, and cherries. Jim lost his precious wife, Dorothy, to cancer.
Following a courtship of seven years with Alyce Ross, Jim married Alyce at Lake Tahoe, overlooking the water. Together, they attended Church of Christ and supported various school and extra-curricular activities. Jim was an amazing host, known for entertaining friends and family. He always welcomed others to his home and to mealtime, wherever it may be. Jim knew how to light up a room!
Jim was extremely thoughtful and generous to others. He was the rock of his family. Jim was an exceptionally positive person and great encourager. He touched many lives and was a joy to be around. Always a hard worker, Jim was a great example of balancing your life, being super organized, and managing one’s time. He always made time for others.
Jim was blessed with an outstanding family and exceptional grandchildren. Jim loved blues and country music, entertaining, dancing, travelling, exercising, swimming, flowers and sports. But most of all, he loved children. Jim lived every day to the fullest. Jim was a very caring man and will be deeply missed.
Jim is survived by siblings: Patricia Shaw, Kay Nall (Hurtis), Jerry Smith; his wife, Alyce Smith; children: Ted Smith (Janice), Patricia Madronich (Rudolph), Jim Stephen Smith (Margaret), Gary Liederbach, Joy Knudson, Susan Williamson, Tara Ross (Andrew) and Tressa Shockley (Wes); grandchildren: Jack, Jodie, Michael, Randy, Jason, Andrew, Anthony, Alexis, Dorothy, Joshua, Jimmy, Daniella, Matthew, Gabriella, Natalie, Breanna, Marek, Tegan.
Services will be held at Church of Christ, 4309 Ahtanum Rd., Yakima WA 98903, on August 21, 2014 at 11:00 am.
Arrangements are being handled by Rainier Memorial.