James J. Smith, Sr., 81, of Richmond, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at The Chestnut Cottage at The Elms. He was the loving husband of Maureen (Boyer) Smith and together they shared 63 years of marriage. Born in Gardner, MA on October 4, 1939, he was the son of the late Burton F. and Rita (Ashmore) Smith.
Jim graduated from North Kingstown High School in 1957. He went on to work in construction as a general contractor. In 1969, he opened the Wawaloam Campground with his wife Maureen and together they have been running the business for 52 years. He was a hardworking man of many talents. Along with his warm and kind personality, gentle demeanor and a smile that would melt your heart, he also had a quick wit cracking the silliest of jokes. He shared his gift of a beautiful singing voice and recorded several CD’s. During vacation cruises with his family, he would delight crowds on karaoke night. In the summer, he would welcome guests to his variety shows at the campground which were fondly called “An Evening with Jim”. Not only could he sing, but he could cook. Making chowder and clam cakes for the campground guests was his specialty and when complemented, he was humble and just grateful to be able to give to others. His love of the outdoors extended to the animals as well. Jim loved all forms of wildlife and farm animals which led to raising beef cattle on his farm in Clermont, Florida. He passed this love on to his children and taught them to always be kind to animals. Most importantly, he loved his family and will be missed so dearly by all who knew him.
Besides his wife Maureen, he leaves his children James Smith, Jr. and his wife Frances, Todd Smith, Vicki Smith, Kristen Smith and Nicole Smith; his 14 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; his sister Sally Dines; several nieces and nephews along with many members of his Wawaloam Campground family. He was predeceased by his daughter Terry Smith, grandson Nathan Smith and sister June Mrozek.
A celebration of James’ life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter, 245 Waterman St. #306, Providence, RI 02906.
S.R. Avery Funeral Home, 3A Bank St., Hope Valley, RI is assisting the family with arrangements.
For online condolences, please visit www.averyfuneralhome.com
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