OBITUARY

James Edson Smith

April 24, 1947April 10, 2021
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James Edson Smith, FAA Wall of Famer: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

James Edson Smith of Port Jervis NY passed peacefully on 10 April 2021 at his residence in Greentown IN. He was surrounded by love and loved ones.

Son (Of: James and Mary Barbarino), Brother (To: Artie, Karen, Robert, Rebecca, Jamie, Linda and Gail), Husband (To: Joann “The Love of His Life”). Joann and Jim began their life destiny in 1964. Father (To: Lance and Bryan (married to Kelly Brickler (Smith)) and Grandfather (To: Payton, Kanyon, Jalen, Savannah, Rainnah and Tucker).

Upon graduation from Port Jervis HS, James volunteered for service in the USAF. He served in Pleiku Vietnam as an Air Traffic Controller and safely returned home in 1968. After a brief transition he became an Air Traffic Controller at the FAA facility at MacArthur Airport. His career spanned over 50 years and he relished every single one, never really working a day in his life. The FAA has dedicated an airport approach in his honor.

His passion for baseball was only surpassed by his passion for Rock & Roll music (Bob Dylan!). He loved old cars, good food (eating and cooking) and great company - there was never a stranger in his presence.

Those that knew him also know of his generosity (monetary and otherwise). Basic humanity was his greatest cause. In lieu of flowers, we ask that when and if you have the means, please tip someone generously in his honor. It was something that he loved to do.

A celebration of life will be held in August. One thing he always wanted when he passed was a party, and not sadness. Details to come later.

The family will use his Facebook page as a memorial for themselves and friends. Please friend request and share anecdotes, jokes, pictures or stories from the times you spent with him.

A memorial service for James will be Thursday April 15, 2021 6:00pm EST. starting with Military Rites at Ellers Mortuary 3400 S. Webster Street Kokomo Indiana 46902 with friends gathering from 4:00pm until time of service. You are invited to wear the color orange and Hawaiian shirts. Bryan and Lance Smith will be conducting the service.

Please join us in remembering James by visiting www.ellersmortuarywebster.com. Through this site, we invite you to share your thoughts and fond memories with the family.

The memorial service will be streamed live on Ellers Mortuary Facebook Page beginning at 5:55pm EST.

Services

  • Visitation

Memories

James Edson Smith

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Noah Stiles

April 19, 2021

Jim&I were good friends from time the he came to NYARTCC . I had the pleasure to train Jim in NY from the time he was assigned to our team . Jim became a excellent radar controller at NYARTCC from that time on we were on the same crew until 1981 when most controllers were fired by pres. Ronald Regan for a job action Jim and I were fired along with about ten thousand other controllers throughout the United States after that everybody went in different direction . Jim eventually returned to the FAA to continue his controller career I went with another federal department . We were always the best of friends both on the job and socially . He was one of the nicest guys that I ever have known . May he Rest In Peace always for a Life Well Done ! Sincerely , Noah

Bernadette & Rocks Rocks

April 16, 2021

OUR DEAR BUD AND THE FAMILY,
WE LOVE YOU and we're praying for peace and for God to watch over you and see to all your needs. You are very special to us, We worry and think about you guys all the time,
We're here for you. This may take lots of time and we understand.
Josie May God Wrap you in love and peace. Lance,Bryan,Kelly and the kids forgive me if I left anyone out. I am still in shock as well.
The tears are flowing, I wish only the best for all of you, comfort and peace always
The Rocks Family

Gary Coleman

April 15, 2021

Gary Coleman

April 15, 2021

Donna Brennan

April 15, 2021

loved so much by ALL of his FAVORITE sister-in-laws

Joanne Schneider

April 13, 2021

Our deepest condolences as we are so sorry to hear of Jimmy's passing. We were friends & neighbors for many years. May he Rest in Peace 🙏
Joanne & Tom

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