James Donald Smith
March 1, 1935 – April 6, 2019
James Donald Smith, 84, passed away on April 6, 2019 after complications sustained from a fall. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida on March 1, 1935. He was the only child of James H. (Red) Smith and Eunice Smith.
Following graduation from Landon High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany. While on a train traveling through Holland, he met the love of his life, a Dutch girl named Carla. When Don finished his Army tour and returned to the United States, Carla soon followed and so did their wedding.
Later Don went on to join the IBEW #177 apprenticeship program and became Jacksonville's 100th Master Electrician. Don had a long and distinguished career as a master electrician. While at Paxon electric, he served as the superintendent. Here he oversaw much of Jacksonville's early growth, including JIA, UPS, Blount Island Offshore Power Systems, St. Luke's Hospital, and the Prime Osborne Center. Then, he moved on to Miller Electric to finish the Gator Bowl expansion project before his retirement. He enjoyed giving back to his trade and spent 45 years as an apprenticeship instructor at the Electrical Training Alliance of Jacksonville.
In his free time, Don enjoyed lots off hobbies. He was a pilot and very proud of the two experimental aircraft he built and flew with his son, Raymond. Don was also a ham radio operator. He was very handy and loved working on projects around the house. There was not a project he couldn't design and complete.
Don will be greatly missed by Carla, his wife of 56 years, his son and best friend, Raymond and wife Hilda, Don's favorite daughter, Sharon and his grandson, Preston.
A memorial service will be held at Hardage Giddens, 1701 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach on April 23, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. The family will receive guests at the reception following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made in his memory to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles Program,www.eaa.org. or to the charity of your choice. Fly Free Daddy!! ♥
- Carla Smith, Wife
- His son and best friend, Raymond and wife Hilda, Don's favorite daughter, Sharon and his grandson, Preston
- Memorial Service Tuesday, April 23, 2019
James Donald Smith
April 15, 2019
The first time I met Don Smith, I was a 2nd yr apprentice entering his class. A little scared I, learned to appreciate his humor, and love of electronics. He had a scanner in the class and we eaves dropped on police, and the odd cell phone conversation. Later on I taught at LU#177's Academy and learned to appreciate what a great help Don had been as a teacher. My wife, Stephanie, and I learned what a wonderful couple Carla and Don were while training at UT Knoxville, when we broke bread with them at dinners after school up there. We are deeply saddened by Don's passing, and our prayers are with the family, GOD Bless.
April 14, 2019
I grew up with Sharon! Our moms are both Dutch (my dad was too) our dads were both electricians, and we both had older brothers. Sharon and the Smith family always welcomed me to their home: celebrated New Years, birthdays etc. Mr Smith was always teasing Sharon or trying to embarrass her when her friends were around! He always made me laugh. Mr smith drove an old black Ford pickup truck and once took Sharon and I to a large vacant parking lot and we did donuts (or something close) and I enjoyed seeing this silly side of him! He always brought home papers from his teaching so Sharon and I could play teacher all the time- which was the best! Peace be with you Mr Smith as you continue your flight now among the angels!
Kathy and Jon Mason
April 12, 2019
We are friends of his daughter Sharon; we were neighbors with her and her family for many years . She is a beautiful person. Perhaps this is due to being raised by such a wonderful and honorable father. We offer our prayers to the family, especially to his beloved wife. Losing a soulmate is a difficult moment in life. Kathy,Jon And Ash Mason