Cover photo for James A. Smith's Obituary
James A. Smith Profile Photo
1959 James 2023

James A. Smith

April 15, 1959 — November 3, 2023

James Smith, a cherished and respected member of the Rockford community, passed away on November 3, 2023, at the age of 64. He was born on April 15, 1959, to William and Delores Smith. James was a man of dedication and perseverance, as evidenced by his pursuit of education, obtaining his GED from Rock Valley College in 2009 and later earning a certification in Auto Mechanics. His commitment to learning was matched only by his dedication to serving his country, as he served with honor in the U.S. Marine Corps.


In his leisure time, James was known for his unwavering support of the Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago Bulls. He found joy in various activities, including playing baseball, gardening, fishing, skating, and dancing. After retiring in 2021, James found fulfillment in his work as a freelance handyman, providing assistance with home improvement projects. His skilled and compassionate approach brought comfort and relief to those he served, leaving a lasting impact on their lives.

James was known for his infectious sense of humor. His warm light-hearted nature and ability to find laughter in every situation brought joy to those around him. His clever jokes and playful demeanor were always a source of amusement for his family and friends. He had a knack for brightening the room with his good-natured jokes and friendly banter, leaving cherished memories of laughter and happiness with all who had the pleasure of knowing him. James's playful spirit will be deeply missed by those whose lives he touched.


James is survived by his devoted wife, Deborah Whitmore-Smith, and their six children: James (Tonya) Smith Jr., Sheila (Brian) Steele, Robert (Caroline) Smith, Brian Smith, Jason Smith, and Rylen Smith. He also leaves behind his siblings, Peggy Pietropola, Billy (Debra) Smith, Mike (Michelle) Smith, and Debra (John) Kasprazak. Cherished memories of James will be held by his grandchildren: Keyana Steele, Adelaide (Harrison) Williams, Kyle Smith, Aidan Smith, Allison Smith, Aidric Smith, Kyarah Steele, Victoria Smith, and Tristan Smith. He will be deeply missed by numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, and a wide circle of friends.


James was preceded in death by his father, William Smith, and his sister, Barbara Kohler. His presence will be dearly missed by all who had the honor of knowing him, and his legacy will endure through the memories he created with his loved ones.


A visitation in honor of James Smith will be held on Monday, November 13, 2023, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, located at 1860 S. Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108. A funeral service will follow the visitation, beginning at 3:00 p.m. and concluding at 5:00 p.m. All those who knew James are invited to come together to celebrate his life and mourn his passing.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James A. Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, November 13, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, November 13, 2023

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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