In Remembrance: James A. Smith ’52BD, ’56STM Died on April 7 2013

Dr. James A. Smith Jr., 86, died April 7, 2013, at Giles Community Hospital. He served in the US Marine Corps near the end of World War II before entering college.

A full obituary appeared in the Roanoke Times on April 10, 2013.

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    James Alfred Smith, Jr. ’52 B.D., ’56 S.T.M.

    James Alfred Smith, Jr., affectionately known as “Jim”, was born in 1927 in Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee, in 1947. He is the son of James Alfred and Bernice (Wright) Smith.

    After high school graduation, near the end of World War II, and before entering college, James served in the US Marine Corps. In 1949 he received a B.A. degree from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. He earned the B.D./M.Div. degree at Yale Divinity School in 1952, and the S.T.M. in 1956. He went on to Boston University, where in 1964 he completed his dissertation on The Developing Roles of the General Superintendent in the Methodist Church and received his Ph.D. He also did graduate study for one semester at Oxford University in England.

    At age 25 on June 21, 1952, James married Cornelia Woodson, also 25 and a teacher in Danville, Virginia, at her home Methodist Church in Narrows, Giles County, Virginia. Rev. H. Arthur Phillips, minister of the church, conducted the ceremony. Those present included Jim’s parents, and those of his wife, E. E. Woodson and Lelia (Hale) Woodson.
    Dr. Smith was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and served churches in Toledo, Ohio, Hamden, Connecticut, and Medford, Massachusetts. He served twelve years as chaplain and philosophy professor at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and for five years was academic dean at Lees Junior College, in Jackson, Kentucky. Jim then worked twenty years with the UCC Board for Homeland Ministries as its Church-College Coordinator for thirty UCC-related colleges.

    Jim, and Cornelia, retired in Virginia, although Jim worked for another ten years as interim pastor for several UCC churches in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia.

    Jim died Sunday, April 7, 2013, at the Giles Community Hospital in Pearisburg, Virginia. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister, Miriam, and a brother, Henry G. Smith. His survivors include his wife of sixty years, Cornelia Woodson Smith; a daughter, Emily Smith Gray and husband Jason, of Cary, North Carolina; four sons, James Woodson Smith and wife April, of Frankfort, Kentucky; Thomas Wright Smith, and wife Golfo, of St. Petersburg, Florida.; Christopher Hale Smith of Warsaw, Poland; and Mark Daniel Smith, Henrico; as well as eight grandchildren (Steven and Alexandra Smith, Thomas and William Gray, Zuzanna and Phoebe Smith, and Athena and Sophia Smith). Friends and family members celebrated Jim’s life with a memorial service at Narrows First United Methodist Church on Friday, April 12, 2013, led by the Rev. Chris Stanfield.

    Dr. James A. (Jim) Smith Jr., The Roanoke [VA]Times, A13, April 10, 2013, seen at Virginia, Marriage Records, 1936-2014`
    1930 United States Federal Census

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