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Smith , 76
EDDYVILLE, Ky. -- Master Sergeant retired James Hunter Smith (Jim), 76, of Eddyville, Ky., died suddenly on Dec. 11, 2013, in Eddyville from injuries sustained in a traffic accident.
Jim was born on March 4, 1937, in Sanford, to the late Edward Smith and Hazel Della Hunter Smith. He graduated from Sanford High School in 1956 and later in life earned a BA from Indiana University.
During high school, Jim joined the 103rd Regimental Combat Team of the Maine National Guard and after graduation requested active duty in the U.S. Army. He was a paratrooper and a special forces Ranger. He served as a military advisor during two tours in Vietnam, one from 1964-1965 and another in 1968. During this service, he earned a Purple Heart, five Bronze Stars and two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry awards, among other decorations. He served in the U.S. Army for 22 years, 16 of which were in combat, with posts in the U.S., Germany and Korea. Jim was also an ROTC instructor at Princeton University, N.J.
Upon retirement from the Army, he worked at Culver Military Academy from 1977-1992 as a military training instructor, an instructor at Culver summer schools and camps and also served as an Assistant to the Commandant of the Corps of Cadets. Jim also taught history.
Jim played football in high school and was a prolific painter of oil, pastel and water color paintings. He sang tenor and played both trumpet and harmonica. He spoke fluent Vietnamese. In 1990, Jim wrote and published a novel, 'Will the Sun Rise Tomorrow' based on his military advisory experiences in Vietnam.
Jim is survived by his wife, Margie Loretta Rolley Smith of Eddyville, Ky.; his daughters, Cathy Sleeper of South Thomaston, and Kim Baer of Chesterton, Ind.; and his sister, Betty Lazar of Princeton, N.J. He was previously married to Janis Renee Fry Smith, deceased, of Royal Center Ind.
A service of remembrance and celebration will be scheduled at a later date in the spring of 2014 in Kentucky. Arrangements will be made through Gary's Funeral Home of Greenville, Ky.
James Hunter Smith was a modern Renaissance man who loved fully and was fully loved in return. He will be greatly missed.
Gary's Funeral Home Inc
405 Hopkinsville St
Greenville, KY 42345
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 5, 2014