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James "Poppy" Smith

November 4, 1934 ~ November 12, 2018 (age 84)

James K. Smith, surrounded by his children, joined his wife Bertie in heaven on Monday, November 12, 2018.  James was known by many names, Kermit, Ol’ Brother, Smitty, Dad, Grandpa, but most admired being called Poppy.  He was born in 1934, Crawford, TN to Allen and Etta Mae (Garrett) Smith (deceased).   He had a loving family with several siblings; Charles Smith (deceased), Johnny Howard Smith (deceased), Winford (Linda) Smith, Brenda (Jim deceased) Ketron, Pat (Bob deceased) McCulley and Pat Smith.  Poppy moved north when he was 17 to find work and a better way of life.  He was blessed to have family, Vince and Stella (Steve) Hargis and Ray & Corey Byrd to help him make Battle Creek his home.  He found plenty of work and had many stories about his jobs at Britten’s Gas Station, VA Medical Center, Weston Biscuit Company before landing a job with Fisher Body (GM) where he worked for 30+ years.    He married the love of his life, Bertha Sue Wyatt (deceased) and had three children, Nola (Tom) Frye, James (Teri) Smith and Melinda (Joe) Beffrey who were all by his side.   He taught us many lessons in life, but the most important was the love of family.  The joy of his life were his grandchildren, Shawna Smith, Daniel (Crystal) Smith, Kayla Frye, Miranda (Daniel) Waddell, Julia Beffrey, Jacob Beffrey and Jack Beffrey.  There was nothing he would not do for his grandkids as he was their “wheel” man and would cart them anywhere, biggest fan at sporting events and just loved being involved in their lives.    Poppy had a passion for his trucks (always red) and taught us the importance of keeping them clean.  He enjoyed mowing his lawn and plowing the street in the winter.  He was an avid sports fan.  He enjoyed watching Nascar  and supported the Detroit Tigers, Pistons and Lions.  He showed love to everyone that he came in contact with.  He would greet you with a “Hey Buddy” and from that moment considered you a friend.  It was incredible to see the relationships he built with the cleaning ladies (Pat and Ashley) who he considered family, Lisa who would come to his home and cut his hair, Ed the mailman who he would leave snacks for in the mailbox and the garbage men who from time to time would receive a six pack of beer.  He taught us how to celebrate life while loving and honoring everyone around us.  We invite you to come celebrate his life at the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home on Friday, November 16, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral Service to be held 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at North Avenue Church of God.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to North Avenue Church of God or Borgess Place.  Condolences may be left for the family at www.henryfuneralhome.org      

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