James S. "Jim" Smith, 89, of Greenfield, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, at Hancock Regional Hospice, Greenfield. He was born in Akron, Ohio, on Feb. 5, 1926, to the late Cecilia (Szwed) Lack.
Jim grew up in Everson, Pa., and graduated from Scottdale High School, where he met his future wife of more than 62 years, Wanda (Wisniewski). College would follow, but not before serving his country in World War II. Jim enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday, and he became a Signal Man aboard the USS Trousdale in the Pacific Theatre. He was proud of his navy service and spoke fondly of his experiences and friendships.
After the war, Jim enrolled in California University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. His days as an educator were short lived, as he eventually went to work for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, and became involved in the early development of the metal coil coating industry. This led to a move to St. Louis, Mo., where Jim worked for Precoat Metals and then to Greenfield in 1965, when Jim went to work for Roll Coater. He retired as Roll Coater's President in 1991, and he was also a Group Vice President for Roll Coater's parent company Arvin Industries. During his tenure, Roll Coater grew to become one of the largest coil coating companies in the world. This reputation provided the company with many opportunities for international consulting. Jim made numerous trips to Europe, Australia, Russia and China. In fact, many members of the Roll Coater team, from the plant floor to the office, traveled extensively to China. Jim was also active in the National Coil Coater's Association and served as their President from 1989 – 1991.
After retirement, Jim and Wanda spent many of their winters in Marco Island, FL where Wanda would enjoy the beach and Jim would hit the golf course. He was an avid golfer and was a member of Greenfield Country Club and Woodland Country Club in Carmel. He really relaxed on the golf course as he enjoyed a couple of cigars, told stories, and provided a running commentary on the state of his game. As those who played golf with him can attest, it was always entertaining. Jim was also a member of American Legion Post 119 and of the Columbia Club in Indianapolis.
Jim is survived by his wife, Wanda; brother, David (Toni) Lack of Akron, Ohio; sons, Mark (Jane) of Germantown, Md. and Gregory Smith of Malibu, Calif. He was the proud grandfather of Katelyn, Elizabeth, Hunter, Parker and Kennedy.
Preceding him death are his mother and sister, Sally Drexler.
No services will be held at this time. Arrangements have been entrusted to Stillinger Family Funeral Home, Pasco Chapel of Greenfield. Memorial mass and burial will be sometime in the spring at St. Joseph Catholic Church and Cemetery in Everson, Pa.
Memorial contributions in memory of Jim may sent to Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation, 801 N. State St. Greenfield, IN 46140. Please designate the Cancer Center.
On line condolences may be shared at www.stillingerfamily.com.