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James Richard Smith: 1944-2023


James (Jim) Richard Smith, born October 8, 1944 ,in Seattle, passed away on August 19, 2023, at the age of 78. After suffering a stroke in 2008, Jim traded the many dusty trails and rocky mountaintops he'd traveled in life for the paved paths and sidewalks around Edmonds and Shoreline, where he would often see friends and neighbors while out on his scooter.

Jim grew up in Wallingford, where he lived with his parents, Thelma and David, and his older sister, Marilyn. He enjoyed his community and the accessibility to Green Lake, where he loved to swim and drive his hydroplane.

He graduated from Lincoln High School and kept in touch with his high school friends. His family enjoyed vacationing on the Washington coast and spending time together, especially with Marilyn's boys, Dave and Eric.

Jim went to Western Washington University, where he received bachelor's and master's degrees in economics. After graduating, he took a job as an economist with the U.S .Army Corps of Engineers, where he developed friendships, carpool buddies, and hiking partners that would last his lifetime.

Jim moved to Edmonds with his wife, K. Rochelle Smith (Jones), where they raised their two children, Marina and Schuyler.

He poured his heart into raising his kids, attending countless "Nutcracker" rehearsals and performances, coaching Schuyler's basketball team, and volunteering at Klahaya swim meets late into the summer weeknight evenings.

Jim loved to travel. Some of his favorite destinations included Hawaii, Peru, and the British Isles.

In addition to spending time with his family, he loved hiking, skiing, fishing, Starbucks coffee, jazz, travel, maple bars, and beach walks. Jim never lost his positive outlook on life despite the challenges following his stroke, and simply never accepted that anything would prevent him from continuing to soak up the joys in life.

Jim is survived by his wife, Rochelle; his children, Marina (Andy) and Schuyler (Kim); and his grandchildren, Connor, Theodore, Hannah, Hattie and Austin. He was preceded in death by his sister, Marilyn.

A celebration of life will be held at the Mountaineers at Sandpoint Sunday, October 22, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the American Heart Association ( or the Washington Trails Association.