Funeral services with military honors will be held for James Lamar Smith, 88, of Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at Oak Lawn Cemetery in West Plains, Missouri at 11 a.m., under direction of the Carter Funeral Home, West Plains. Lamar died on September 9, 2021 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Lamar was born September 10, 1932, near Pomona, Howell County, Missouri, to the late Granville Wellington Smith and Viva Lee (Burgess) Smith.
He was the second oldest of five children raised on a small farm where he learned a lot about hard work, fixing and building things, and picking up rocks. He attended Bridges School, a one-room schoolhouse, through the 8th grade. Lamar graduated from West Plains High School in 1950 and served in the Army from 1952 to 1954. While on a 30-day leave before deployment to Germany, he met Shirley Napier as he drove around the West Plains town square. They corresponded often in the following year and once he started working with the Western Telephone company, he proposed and she accepted. They were married on July 21st, 1957.
Lamar and Shirley moved often as he advanced in the telephone business, living in West Plains, Aurora, Mt. Vernon, Shelbina, Jefferson City, and Kansas City, Missouri. They also lived in Overland Park and Lenexa, Kansas before settling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He retired from Sprint with 42 years of service in 1998. Shirley preceded him in death on June 4, 2013, after almost 56 years of marriage.
Lamar was a follower of Jesus Christ. He was baptized at the First Baptist Church of West Plains in 1958 and was last a member of Victory Christian Fellowship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, working in his gardens, fixing just about anything broken, or building something new for himself, family, friends, or anyone he knew in need.
He is survived by two sons, Victor Smith and wife Christy of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Eric Smith and wife Leanne of Tulsa, Oklahoma; five grandchildren, Katelynn Widner and husband Luke, Garrett Smith, Wyatt Smith, Cameron Smith, and Audrey Smith; one brother, Howard Smith, and wife Nancy of Palm Beach Garden, Florida; one sister, Cora Jane Stevens of Bolivar, Missouri; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death are his wife Shirley, parents Granville and Viva Smith, brothers Joe Smith and Donnie Smith, a brother-in-law Jack Stevens, and a sister-in-law Fern Smith.
Visitation will be Friday, September 17, 2021 at Carter Funeral Home in West Plains from 5 to 8 p.m. at Carter Funeral Home Chapel, West Plains, Missouri. In place of flowers, Lamar asked for memorial contributions be made to the Mount Zion Cemetery near Pomona, Missouri