Our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at Ascension St. Mary’s in Saginaw. He was 90 years old. James Allen Smith was born November 30, 1930 in Saginaw to the late Frank and Goldie (Bolster) Smith. James met the love of his life and future wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Ann Pruitt at Adrian College as a freshman, she was a senior. They were married on June 16, 1956 at State Street United Methodist Church. Betsy preceded him in death on June 23, 2016. Jim graduated from Adrian College, and then furthered his education in Washington DC. He started the Frankenmuth United Methodist Church in 1962. Rev. Jim also pastored to the wonderful people of Pinconning, Detroit, Commerce, Oscoda, Birmingham, and Sanford. He retired in 1993. Upon his retirement, Jim enjoyed working with Habitat for Humanity and volunteering caring for the carousel horses at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo. During the pandemic, Jim used his time wisely by writing poetry and publishing his first book. But what he loved most was time spent with his beloved family.
Surviving are his children, Dorothy (Jerry) Jacobs of Springfield, IL and David Smith of Springfield, IL; a grandson, John Rettig and his wife, Alyse Dannenberg of CA; two great-grandchildren, Anya Rettig and Xander Dannenberg-Rettig; two step-grandchildren, Ellen (Jason) Byers of Xenia, IL and Neil (fiancé, Stephanie Lucas) Jacobs of Kenosha, WI; two step-great-grandchildren, Leah and Logan Byers; sister, Lynn Ann Newton, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to his beloved wife, Betsy and his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his siblings, Douglas Smith, Paul Smith, Dewain Smith and Charlotte Knapp.
A Memorial Services will take place at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 3, 2021, at First United Methodist Church, 4790 Gratiot Rd., Saginaw MI 48638. Pastor Amy Terhune will officiate. Honoring James’ wishes cremation has taken place. Loved ones can view the service online at the Saginaw First UMC YouTube page at this link: https://youtu.be/g5LXkw_7X-A
In lieu of flowers those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to First United Methodist Church, Saginaw Children’s Zoo or Habitat for Humanity in Jim’s name. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Deisler Funeral Home, 2233 Hemmeter Rd. (off State). Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at the First United Methodist Church or through https://deislerfuneralhome.com/.