A Celebration of Life service for James Winfred Smith, 80, of Starkville will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 5, 2023 at St. James Catholic Church in Leland. Visitation will be 1 hour before the services. Interment will follow immediately at Leland-Stoneville Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Greenville.
Jimmy passed away on July 27th in Starkville, MS. He was born in Greenwood, MS on January 27, 1943, to B. F. Smith and Mary Alyce Bounds Smith.
Jimmy was raised in Leland, MS. After graduating from Leland High School in 1961 he attended Delta State University, Mississippi State University, and Louisiana State University where he completed his doctorate in Entomology.
His career as a research scientist with the USDA led him in 1987 to the Boll Weevil Laboratory at MSU where he was director for 8 years. After Starkville, he headed “home” to the Mississippi Delta to assume the position of Director of the Delta Regional Extension Center, from where he retired.
Throughout his adult life, he was a leader in many professional, civic, and religious organizations including The Leland Rotary Club and the Washington County Ducks Unlimited, where he served as president of each. He headed RCIA at both St. Joseph Greenville and St. Joseph Starkville. Upon retirement, he volunteered with St. Vincent DePaul Society where he again served as president and particularly loved serving the people of Greenville.
With his career as a research scientist, he traveled the world where he used his lifelong love of photography to document his travels. Photography was a creative outlet that resulted in a catalog of thousands of photos. He was well known to have several cameras on him at all times to photograph any and all family and community events.
He enjoyed collecting cameras and wristwatches and especially finding a deal.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Greer Jones Smith; three amazing children: Sherry Smith Wilbourne and husband Rob, Benjamin Walker Smith, and wife Jane and Hunter McKeithen Smith. Five grandchildren on whom he loved to brag: Jonathon Wray (Katie), Stephen Wray (Regan), John Robert Wilbourne, Mary Elaine Wilbourne, and Elizabeth Walker Smith; and 2 great-granddaughters. He is also survived by his sister and best friend, Lelaine Smith Weilenman, husband Johnny, many nieces and nephews, and extended family and friends that adored him. He will be fondly remembered by his Leland High School Class of 1961, which he was still very close to.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers-in-law Gary Jones and Walker Jones, Jr, and niece, Parker Jones.
Pallbearers are Jonathon Wray, Stephen Wray, John Robert Wilbourne, John Weilenman, Alan Jones, Steven Jones, and Jay Livingston Jones. Special bearer, his godson Charles Thomas.
A service in Starkville will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers please donate to Blair Batson Children’s Hospital or The St. Vincent De Paul Society.