James Warren Smith, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather died in his sleep on February 9, 2024. He was 88 years old.
Mr. Smith was born in Newark, Ohio to Helen Claire Loomis and Warren Edwin Smith, who predeceased him.
His formative years were spent in Baltimore, rooting for the Orioles and Colts, savoring a crab feast, and suffering endless meals of pork chops & peaches. He played lacrosse and basketball in high school and excelled at his academics. Baltimore is where he chatted up the cute girl who was to be his wife, June Carol Weber, the love of his life. He attended college at Johns Hopkins University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Doctorate in Electrical Engineering.
In 1963, he took a position at Bell Labs, in Holmdel, New Jersey, and worked there until 1996. He earned several patents for his technological innovations in telecommunications. In his new hometown of Middletown, he became an active community member, sitting on the planning board. Advocating for civil rights.
When he retired, he “volunteered” at the Middletown Public Library. He enjoyed the people with whom he worked and the patrons. It was especially nice when his grandchildren popped in to borrow books and surprise him.
He enjoyed wide-ranging interests including travel to Asia and Europe. He appreciated artistry and collected chess sets and paintings, savored listening to classical music. He loved dinners and breakfasts on the beach with friends and family. He was also a skilled wood worker and a competitive tennis player in his heyday. He could fix a remarkable number of things with tinfoil and duct tape. Mr. Smith was an avid gardener of daylilies, amassing 250 different hybrid daylilies in a Keukenhof- like display of color and beauty which he held open houses during the bloom.
He cherished and was so proud of his family and often remarked at how fortunate he was to have such a clan. But, it is they, though bereft, who are grateful to have had such a good, kind, intelligent and loving person as the patriarch. Each generation is imbued with his passions for learning, creativity and fairness. He left a worthy legacy.
Mr. Smith, aka Big Daddy to his grandchildren is survived by his wife of 65 years, June, his children and their spouses, Judy and John Auger, David and Renee Smith and Kathryn and Michael Altland, as well as 9 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Arrangements are private and under the direction of Thompson Memorial Home of Red Bank, NJ. The family is thankful for your kind thoughts. If you would like to honor his memory, please EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE ISSUES AND VOTE. Donations can be made to Middletown Township Public Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown, NJ 07748.