James Stanley Smith, 75, died peacefully on Sunday, May 5 due to heart and lung complications at Oak Valley Hospital.
He was the third child born to loving parents Clarence Jefferson and Velma Ruth Smith in Roswell, N.M. His family of six moved to Oakdale in 1945 in search of a better and more prosperous place to live. His parents, also known as C.J. and Velma, had relatives already living in the “golden state,” who were very satisfied. His parents purchased a 40-acre almond ranch on Sierra Road with just a small shed to stay in. He and his older brother and their parents built a large barn to live in until a brick home could be constructed. He and the family worked hard on the ranch. The orchard was prosperous over time and the “California dream” came true since moving from New Mexico.
He attended Oakdale grammar and high schools, graduating in 1956. He later joined the National Guard in Oakdale.
Mr. Smith became a good mechanic and handyman. He was good to help family members as they needed repairs done.
His hobbies were music recording, gardening, and playing a good game of chess, as he was taught well by his father, who also started the Oakdale Chess Club and was president in the 1950s.
He is survived by his wife, Nina Smith of Riverbank; brother, Wayne Smith of Modesto; sister, Mary Ellen Costa of Ripon; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and loving sister, Betty Galloway of Santa Barbara.
The Smith family appreciates the heartfelt prayers as he became ill, and now after his passing.
Private services will be planned at a later date.
Oakdale Memorial Chapel in charge of arrangements.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
May 29, 2013