Jimmy Lee Smith (65) of Effingham


Published on May 27 2014 10:40 am

Jimmy Lee Smith, age 65, of Effingham, Illinois passed away Saturday, May 24, 2014 at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon, Illinois.
Funeral services will be at 12 noon Wednesday, May 28 at Frank and Bright Funeral Home in Flora.  Visitation will be from 5 to 7pm Tuesday and from 11am to service time Wednesday.  Interment will follow in Bunker Cemetery at Rinard with military rites.  Memorials to the American Legion or VFW or charity of your choice.
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Jimmy was born September 30, 1948, in Flora, Illinois, the son of Ralph and Elsie (Elliott) Smith.  He graduated from Flora High School in 1966, and was drafted into the Army and served in the Vietnam War.  He was injured a few days before his 21st birthday, in September of 1969, after having served 5 months in Vietnam as a medic with the 60th Infantry, 9th Medical Battalion, Ninth Infantry Division.  He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant and received a National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Medical Badge, and a Purple Heart.  During 1970 in Milwaukee, Jimmy met Marilyn Picago, a physical therapist, the daughter of Dominic and Mary Picago.  Jimmy and Marilyn were married on December 28, 1974 and together, with their love of travel, adventure, mountains, and beaches, landed in Santa Monica, California, where he graduated from UCLA.  They returned to live in Effingham in 1989, and Marilyn preceded him in death in 2007.  Jimmy did not let his quadriplegia slow him down.  He drove himself, traveled independently in the U. S. and Australia over the years, and even went tandem skydiving in the Florida Keys.  He was patient, generous, a life-long learner, and a definite dog person.
Jimmy Lee Smith is survived by his daughter Sara Smith of Effingham; brothers: Bob (Marlene) Smith of Rinard, Earl Smith of Wasco; sister: Kathy Smith Anthenat of Springfield; along with many nieces and nephews and other family and friends around the country.  
He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn and her parents, an infant son (Samuel), and a sister (Pat Scott), and his parents (Ralph and Elsie Smith).