DAMARISCOTTA — At age 90, James A. “Jimmy” Smith Jr. passed peacefully of old age Sept. 29, 2021, surrounded by his family.

He was born July 26, 1931, in Rockland to James Arthur Smith Sr. and Dorothy Lurvey Colby Smith. He was the last surviving member of an extended family that included brothers Kenneth, Ralph and Chester Colby and sisters Ruby Makinen, Bunny Hoffses and Evie Winchenbach.

He leaves his wife Sally (Elwell) Smith, who fell in love with him as a young girl and never stopped for over 60 years; four children and their spouses Terry (Smith) and Steve Brobst, Susan (Smith) and Tom Pelletier, Jim and Cathy Smith and Tom and Dawn Smith.

He had seven grandchildren Adam, Erik, Daniel, Jessica, John, Robyn and Abby as well as two great-grandchildren. He also had Diane Russell as his friend and very caring nurse, and his friend John, who helped him with all his “crazy” projects.

Jimmy led a full and hard-working life. He had a paper route at an early age to help out the family, and won a trip to NYC and a bike from the Portland Press Herald after WWII for his great selling abilities.

With his dog Rover at his side, he explored every inch of Rockland, including climbing lime kilns for pigeon eggs to sell, using the sewers as his own streets, and even rescued a baby who fell into Rockland Harbor. In later years, he enjoyed taking people to Rockland and pointing out the sites of his great stories.

He joined the Navy at 18 and was immediately sent to Korea for four years as a boatswain’s mate and gunner on a destroyer. He saved many wounded soldiers with his swimming skills.

After the Navy, he headed to California, stopping along the way to earn some money, where he met the love of his life. They married and he built his own house for her and his growing family. He worked in plumbing and heating all his life, owning his own business as a heating contractor for many years. His children remember sitting “patiently” while their father talked for hours with all kinds of people. He ended his working days at Bath Iron Works.

He was a self-taught man who loved to read and learn things. No one touched his three daily newspapers before him, and if his kids had a question, he’d pull out the reference books and learn with him. He instilled a love of knowledge and exploring to his children and grandchildren. He was well known at the local library and bookstores.

He is remembered by all who knew him as a “character” and no one ever forgot him once they met him.

In retirement, he enjoyed biking, camping and hiking every mountain in Acadia with Sally, and especially enjoyed reading about the abandoned trails in Acadia, finding and exploring those as well. Many days, he and Sally would head off in the morning, and you never knew where they’d end up. He made a cross country trip with his wife, and friends Diane and Paul. He enjoyed visiting San Francisco as well as many of the parks throughout the West including the “City in the Rocks.”

He and Sally also traveled to various cities for ship reunions.

In his later years, he was honored by the Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt American Legion with his Navy photo on the Veteran’s Wall in Rockland, as well as participating in the Honor Flight of Maine to Washington, D.C., with his fellow veteran, Wayne.

Jimmy’s family will remember him privately as he is laid to rest at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Skidompha Library, 184 Main St., Damariscotta or Quilts of Appreciation for Veterans, c/o Pat Johnston, 93 Back Meadow Road, Damariscotta ME 04543.

To share a memory or condolence with the Smith family, visit their Book of Memories at bchfh.com.