James Deward Smith, a long time resident of Hawthorne returned home to live with his Heavenly Father, Savior and to be reunited with his beloved wife, Revon and his eternal family. On April 25 he passed away peacefully at home.
He was born Oct. 4, 1925 in Henrieville, Utah to James Edward Smith, Jr. and Nellie Elizabeth Chynoweth, as the ninth of 11 children. At the age of 17, with a strong desire to serve his country and a group of friends signing up, he joined the Navy and was assigned to the “Seabees” with Battalion 31, a Navy Construction Battalion. He trained at the Farragut Idaho Naval base, from there to Norfolk, Va. and then went on “Island Hopping” to the many islands located in the Pacific theatre during World War II. His Seabee battalion was part of the construction effort to extend a runway on the island of Tinian for the take off of the Enola Gay, the aircraft carrying its atomic load heading for Hiroshima. He was fond of telling his family he had traveled the world three times by water.
After his four year term of naval service he went home to Henrieville, Utah. He fell in love with a cute little blonde from Tropic, Utah – Revon Sudweeks and they were married on May 21, 1948. They were later sealed in the St. George, Utah Temple on June 28, 1958. In 1950, J.D. and Revon relocated to Hawthorne, Nevada Naval Base where he worked at the Navy Ammunition Depot and also as a heavy equipment mechanic and mule truck driver. J.D. was a talented and knowledgeable mechanic and could fix just about anything. If he didn’t have or couldn’t find the right parts he would make the part from scratch to get the job done. He became known as the “best mechanic in town”.
After retirement he and Revon liked to travel to visit their family. However, once they got to their destination it wasn’t long before he was asking when he could go home. For him there truly was no place like home.
JD is survived by his six children: daughter, LaNell (Butch) McConnell of Clinton, Utah; son, Sam (Beverly) Smith of Elk Grove, Calif., daughter: Ruby Ives (Dave deceased) of Hawthorne, son: Koz (Carol) Smith of Sparks; Sherrie (Clay) Self of Hawthorne and son, Eric (Robyn) Smith of Reno. He has left a great legacy of love, hard work and integrity for his posterity of 19 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and seven great great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his father; mother; brother, Layton; sisters: Ruby, Mary, Laura, Marjorie, Flora, Iris, Doris, and Alta Rae and a granddaughter, ReNell Kimberlin.
There will be a viewing on Saturday, May 11 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel located at 207 South A Street, thereafter followed by a funeral at 12 p.m. Interment at the Hawthorne Cemetery with a tribute of a 21-Gun Salute in honor of his military service.