James Donald Smith
November 3, 1941 – May 12, 2019
Smith, James Donald, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2019 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Roseville. Jim was born on November 3, 1941 in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland. He was the son of the late James Donald Smith and the late Catherine Smith Dickerson and Stepson of the late John Alvin Dickerson. After his father’s death in World War II, at the age of 7, Jim immigrated to the United States with his family. Jim grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and graduated from Warren Harding High School in 1959. After graduation, Jim enlisted in the United States Navy. Jim went on to become a Radiology Technician, receiving his training from the Navy. In 1961, he became a Hospital Corpsman and traveled the world aboard the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier. Once out of the Navy, Jim moved to the West Coast where he lived the rest of his life. Jim worked the last 40 years of his radiology career at Mercy Hospital Sacramento. It was at Mercy Hospital he found the love of his life, Constance Ann Smith. Connie came as a package with her son Sean Colli. It was important to Jim to get to know Sean, so he decided the two of them should take a road trip. Sean and Jim packed up Jim’s AMC purple Gremlin and headed to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park. That trip helped Jim and Sean form a bond that lasted a lifetime. On February 29, 1980 Jim and Connie were married at the courthouse in Sacramento County. A leap year no less, but that weekend allowed for a 3-day weekend. Jim and Connie honeymooned in Bodega Bay along the California coast. Jim and Connie started their life together in West Sacramento and then moved to Eldorado Hills, California in 1988. Jim loved the large yard for gardening and fixing things around the house. He spent many days out in the flower gardens building trellises and benches to just enjoy the outdoors. In 1998 Sean married Dawn and Wesley. Jim embraced his new daughter-in-law and grandson immediately. Family was very important to Jim and he loved being a grandfather. Wesley made Jim laugh like no other could and shared a very special bond. “Munch,” as Wes called him, was a wonderful role model. Wesley has many memories of Grampa Jim sharing his wisdom and support for whatever Wesley was challenged with. Jim’s love for photography took him and Connie to many beautiful spots in Northern California. Whether a landscape, birds, buildings or even goats, Jim found beauty through the lens of his camera. He engrossed himself in the moment. On one day, he was so engrossed photographing goats, he didn’t see the electric fence in front of him until his forehead bumped into it! That left a mark. Jim earned awards in local photography contests. Jim never did this for glamor or fame; he just wanted to share his view of this world that God gave us. In 2012, Jim and Connie moved to Sun City, Roseville where they immediately became involved with many clubs and activities that Sun City offered. Through the Photography Club, Investment Club, Birdwatching Club, Veterans Club and others, Connie and Jim met many people who became dear friends. A dedicated Catholic, Jim and Connie attended St. Clare Parish every weekend. Jim’s faith has always been of high importance and we find comfort knowing he’s in heaven looking over us. Jim is survived by his wife Connie Smith, son Sean Colli and his wife Dawn, and Grandson Wesley Freeman, Sister Linda Bailey and brother John Dickerson and wife Juanita, brother in-law Paul McAfee and wife Verna, niece Kathleen Fernandes and husband Michael Fernandes, along with many other nieces, nephews and other family members.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Clare Catholic Church located at 1950 Junction Blvd., Roseville, CA 95747 at 10:30 am Thursday May 23, 2019 with a reception following. Jim will be buried at Mount Vernon Memorial Park in the rose garden. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.MountVernonMemorial.com for the Smith family.
St. Clare Catholic Church
1950 Junction Blvd.
James Donald Smith
May 19, 2019
I was fortunate to met Jim through the photography club in Sun City. He was a great guy to go on photo out with such as Mare Island. I never heard him say an unkind word except maybe if it related to politics.
It really true that Connie was the love of his life and his concern for her. A comment he made while in Kaiser was I have to get better to take care of Connie.True love.
He set an example how to really a good careing person.