James “Jim” Vincent Smith, 70
Oct. 8, 1950-Dec. 14, 2020
James “Jim” Vincent Smith, 70, of Sartell, died Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 after unexpectedly falling ill and losing his fight to COVID-19.
There will be no funeral services per his wishes as he had chosen to be cremated and will be buried in the spring at St. Mary’s cemetery where family and friends will be invited to celebrate his life.
Smith was born on Oct. 8, 1950 in Sleepy Eye, to Mildred “Millie” (Sellner) and Vincent Smith. He grew up in St. James and later Sleepy Eye attending and graduating from St. Mary’s High School. After graduation, he joined the Marines and soon after married Bonita “Bunny” Haas on Oct. 7, 1972. Smith was retired these past eight years but had worked various jobs throughout his life which included the following: semi driving, security and service type jobs, along with opening his own radiator repair shop. He treasured spending time with his family.
He was a proud and strong man. God blessed him with the gift of strength. He used this gift to help others throughout his life until the
very end before falling ill in recent weeks. It gave him great pleasure to lend a helping hand to so many without being asked. He said this time spent working alone allowed him to reflect back on past memories of family and friends that he loved dearly. He shared many wonderful memories of growing up with his aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was a very loving person who was a good friend to all. He enjoyed telling jokes and reminiscing about the past. He lived his life by
always staying true to himself. He was generous with his time and money. He led a life of serving others and was not materialistic in any way. He knew just how to make others feel important and special. He built many friendships with those he crossed paths with. For more than a year and a half, he volunteered his time to take a dear friend to his chemotherapy treatments where he would sit with him the entire time to help pass the time each week until his passing. His favorite monthly donation charities were St. Jude Children’s and Shriners hospitals along with many other charities when a need would arise. It was not uncommon for him to hand mom a $20 bill so she could extend this to a young family with children that looked to be in need. He was a man with a big heart and openly shared his love daily with his wife, kids and grandchildren. His love, service and small acts of kindness is what will be remembered most and continue in his legacy.
Survivors include the following: his loving wife, Bunny, of 48 years; daughters: Robin (Jeff) Rabey of Prior Lake with sons: Beau and Luke, Bobbi Jo Nash of Prior Lake with children: Jackson, Carter and Taylor Nash.
He was preceded in death by the following: his parents, along with stepfather Lyle”Red” Baker; and grandparents: Edward J. and Mathilda (Seidl) Sellner.