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Obituary for James Vernon Smith

James V. Smith was born on November 30, 1964 at Hurley Hospital in Flint, MI. Shortly thereafter, James was adopted by Jim and Margaret Smith. Growing up, Jim was very active in various youth groups including Boy Scouts and Campus life. Kind is an understatement when describing Jim. He was loving, passionate, and humble. Jim spent his days loving his wife, children, family, and countless friends. He was always there to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Jim was a passionate advocate and community activist. He was a long-standing member of the UAW. Within his service to the UAW, he chaired the Local Union Label, and was the Sgt. at Arms for Local 724. At the Unit level, Jim was also the Sgt. at Arms, and he and his wife, Dawn Chaired the Veterans Committee. Jim also sat on the Region 1D Veterans Council.

Jim was also active in many community groups including, The Oldsmobile Outdoor Club, the Capitol City Old Car Club, Old News Boys, and many more. Jim spent his days as a fierce advocate for Veterans. He also supported his daughters in their mental health advocacy. Jim was nominated “Walk Dad” while helping to run the 2021 Lansing Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention. Any time help was needed, Jim was the first one to volunteer.

Jim was a loving son, brother, husband, and father. He was THE definition of a family man.

Jim is survived by his parents, James L. Smith and Margaret Ann (Fay) Smith, sister, Kathy (Patrick) Smiarowski, wife, Dawn (Parish) Smith, and children, Elizabeth (Brandon) Baker, Tabitha Parish, William Parish, Jamie Smith, and mother-in-law, Katherine (Doug) Staines; nephew, Patrick John (Ronya) Smiarowski, niece, Jennifer (Smiarowski) (Joseph) Carrington, and five great nephews.

The Memorial Service honoring Jim will be officiated by Pastor Gary Coleman at 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 5, 2022 at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge Street, Portland. A luncheon will follow the service at the Grand River Conservation Club, 7345 Lyons Road, Portland. The family will receive friends on Thursday evening from 5-8 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at the funeral chapel. Online condolences may be made at


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