Jim Smith services May 18-19 in Olathe

Jim smith

Jim smith

James R. “Jim” Smith 76, Gardner Kansas passed away peacefully on May 15, 2015 at the Olathe Hospice House.

He valiantly battled serious health issues since last March.

James was born in Utica, NY on November 18, 1938. He graduated from Mohawk High School and went on to attend college at Ottawa University. He was a four-year letterman in football and track. He graduated with a degree in Science and Physical Education in 1960.

Upon graduation he made the decision to plant his roots here in the Midwest. He married Kansas Girl Arlene Hampton in 1960. His first teaching job was at Stillwell High. He was then hired by Olathe where he started as a biology teacher and coached football, basketball and track. He moved up into administration and became a junior high school principal and eventually the Director of Community Relations.

He took a sabbatical from Olathe where he spent several years as the Vice President of Development at his beloved Ottawa University.

He was very proud of several programs that he was instrumental in developing for the Olathe Schools. One was the Vocational School. It was an alternative curriculum that offered courses such as Auto Mechanics, Printing, Shop and Construction. The students even built a house from the ground up! He was also very proud of the initiatives to match Olathe students with corporations and businesses to mentor them in their career paths. Some of those relationships are Honeywell, Garmin and Olathe Medical Center.

Jim also was a very active civic leader. He was a member of Kiwanis, Lyons, Rotary, Optimist, and the Olathe Chamber of Commerce. He was also a leader of First Baptist Church of Olathe. One of his favorite organizations was the Boy Scouts. He was a long-time scout leader. He was an Eagle Scout and a Silver Beaver. In 1980 he was awarded the Kansas Master Teacher.

Jim has made a big impact on the community that he adopted and loved. He was a great educator, coach, mentor, leader and friend, and he will be missed.

He was preceded in death by his mom Margaret Smith, dad, Leon Smith, brother Dennis Smith and sister Iva Tomlinson, father-in-law, Bill Hampton, mother-in-law, LaVere Hampton, brother-in-law, Justin Hampton and sister-in-law Wilma Hampton.

He is survived by his wife, Arlene; children, Lauri Orscheln, Jeff Smith and Melanie Smith; grandsons, Brannon Smith, Miles Orscheln and Jake Sanders; brothers Richard Smith and David Smith.

Visitation and Funeral will be at First Baptist Church Olathe. Visitation will be Monday, May 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Funeral will be Tuesday May 19 at 5:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Olathe Hospice House or First Baptist Church Olathe. To leave a special message for the family please visit Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home and Crematory

Monday, May 18, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
First Baptist Church of Olathe, 2024 E 151st St, Olathe, KS 66062

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 5:30 PM
First Baptist Church of Olathe, 2024 E 151st St, Olathe, KS 66062

3 Responses

  1. Mr.smith was a amazing man he helped me and my family when my father suddenly died in 1984 he was good friends with my dad Walter Burnett we will miss him so much if there is anything that i can do for your family please contact me at 913-747-5959 with and prayers for all your family

  2. So sorry to hear of your family’s loss. Jim was a true asset to The Olathe schools and the Olathe Chamber.

  3. Coach Smith was a good guy and I was proud to know him. He was a committed teacher and coach and was always supportive of his students past and present.A fine man has left us. Bless you Coach. David Bray,1968

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