Smith, James Clarence Jr.

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James (Jim) Clarence Smith Jr., 70, died Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg. A lover of life from the start, Jim was born on August 16, 1939, in Martinsville, Va. He grew up in Martinsville, with his parents James Clarence Smith Sr., and Florence Hunt “Yonnie” Pannill Smith.

It was during his youth in Martinsville where he met the love of his life and wife of 47 years, Linda Flora Smith. After graduating from Martinsville High School, Jim earned his undergraduate degree at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., his Masters degree at William and Mary, and his PhD at Duke University.

On June 23, 1962, he married Linda Sue Flora, his high school sweetheart. During the next five years, Jim and Linda had their two daughters. His professional career was diverse and included working with NASA in Newport News, Va., over 30 years with Virginia Tech as a Math professor, co-authoring a Calculus textbook, and building and managing two Athletic Clubs located in Martinsville, Va., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

In addition to his career and accomplishments, Jim was known for his love of life and sense of humor. He loved his family, his friends, golf, Elvis, sausage biscuits, running on the beach, light beer, parties, coupons and adventures of all kinds. He never lost his sense of wonder with the world of the desire to learn and create. Jim was a member of many boards and organizations and was very quietly philanthropic. He made numerous donations in the form of educational scholarships and gifts to meet the individual needs of others. Very few are aware of Jim’s giving because he did it behind the scenes and never for a claim.

Jim is survived by his wife, Linda Flora Smith, of Blacksburg, Va.; daughter and husband, Mary Hunter and Robert A. Goss, of Carrboro, N.C.; daughter, Stacy Pannill Rice, of Bellingham, Wash.; and grandson, Robert Hayden Goss, of Carrboro, N.C.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, at 11 a.m. at the Blacksburg United Methodist Church with the Rev. Reggie Tuck officiating. A reception and celebration of Jim’s life will be held at the Blacksburg Country Club immediately following. Internment will be at the Pannill Family Cemetery in Martinsville, Va. on an undetermined date.

In lieu of flowers, Jim requested that any memorial contributions be made to the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad at 200 Progress Street NE, Blacksburg, Va. 24060, or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by McCoy Funeral Home.