James L. Smith, 71, of Independence, Iowa, died Sunday, July 7, 2019, at his home.
He was born Dec. 14, 1947, in Oelwein, Iowa, the son of Max and Caroline (Hinrichs) Smith. He attended country schools in rural Independence and graduated from Jefferson High School in Independence in 1966. James went on to receive a bachelor's degree in industrial arts and math from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls in 1970. On Oct. 3, 1970, he was united in marriage to Marjorie Ann Lund in Brandon. They made their home in Fort Dodge, where James taught math and industrial arts at Northwest Webster/Barnum School for one year. In 1971, he started to work for the Hormel meatpacking plant in Fort Dodge until its closure in 1982. They moved to Eldon in 1982 and later to Algona in 1987 and he continued working for Hormel until his retirement in 2010. After his retirement, James and Margie moved to their farm in rural Independence.
James loved to work with his hands. He enjoyed woodworking and gardening.
He is survived by his wife, Margie Smith; his children, Michelle (Brian) Stevens of Cedar Rapids and Chad (Jill) Smith of Cedar Falls; his grandchildren, Nathan Smith, Tyler Smith, Megan Smith, Justin Stevens, Jason Stevens, Rebecca Stevens and Rachel Stevens; and his two brothers, Gilbert (Marie Lynch) Smith of Ames and Paul (Nancy) Smith of Monmouth, Ore.
James was preceded in death by his parents, Max and Caroline Smith; and a sister-in-law, Louise "Blondie" Smith.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 11, at Hope Wesleyan Church in Independence with the Rev. Robert Solon officiating. Burial will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at Reiff Family Center and Funeral Home in Independence.
To leave an online condolence, please go to www.reifffamilycenter.com under obituaries.