With immense courage and great spirit, Jim Smith of Beaconsfield made the journey to his Lord on Friday, July 5 2019, at the Ringgold County Hospital supported by his family.
James Francis Smith was born September 21, 1940, in Creston, IA, the only child of Francis E. and Mildred DeLay Smith. He was raised on the family farm south of Tingley. Jim first attended country school a mile north of the farm at Tingley No, 8 with his mom as his teacher. He later attended Tingley School proper until the eighth grade. He then transferred to Mount Ayr High School for his freshman year. Mount Ayr had a strong agriculture and FFA program and he said this proved to be a good choice for him as it was his life dream to become a farmer. He graduated with the Class of 1959.
After high school graduation, Jim completed the Winter Quarter Farm Program at Iowa State University and later the Worldwide College of Auctioneering in Mason City. Jim was a lifelong farmer and auctioneer for 52 years.
In High School he met his sweetheart and love of his life, Mary Ann Herren. They were married July 20, 1963, at the Wishard Chapel Church. They made their permanent home at Sunny Slope Farm, southwest of Beaconsfield, Iowa. Here they welcomed and raised three children: Robert James, Sandra Kay and Debra Sue.
Jim will forever be remembered for his love of his family, farm and community. His favorite times were having his family gathered around the dinner table to enjoy one of Mary Ann’s home-cooked meals, sharing stories and laughs. He was a hard worker, cared well for his livestock and a good steward of the land. After retirement, Jim enjoyed sitting on his front porch, watching the workings and beauty of the farmstead. His John Deere and Allis Chalmers tractors became his hobby in retirement, taking them to parades and tractor rides. He looked forward to the annual Blackmore Corner Antique Farm Show where he could sharpen his plowing and round-baling skills, often leaving the plow line in the dust.
He never knew a stranger and found ease in starting conversations. He was genuinely interested in what others had to say. His gift for talking was more than just an occupation as he donated countless hours to the community through benefit auctions, church auctions, 4-H and FFA auctions and fundraisers of all kinds. He loved to make the auction experience fun for the bidders and each year would try to see if he could raise just a little more money for the organization he was helping.
Ringgold County 4-H and Mount Ayr FFA held a special place in his heart – he was a former member of both, active parent and enjoyed learning about each and every young member that came through the County Fair sale ring. He was a charter member of the Ringgold County Sheriff’s Reserves, served six years in the Army Reserves and a member of the Beaconsfield United Methodist Church.
Jim was kind and witty, his heart was as big as his smile and his family will dearly miss him.
He was preceded by his parents and granddaughter, Jessica Marie Pierschbacher.
Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 55 years, Mary Ann of Beaconsfield, three children: Robert (Dawn) Smith of Durant, Sandra (Curt) Pierschbacher of Kellerton, Debra (Chad) Fiderlein of West Branch; grandchildren: Blaine (Haylee) Smith of Muscatine, Donovan Smith (Mickenzie Kack) of Tipton, Julia Smith of Durant; Nate Pierschbacher (Shelby) of Davis City, Weston Pierschbacher (Courtney) of Kellerton, Cael Fiderlein and Wyatt Fiderlein of West Branch; great-grandchildren: Emaleigh Pierschbacher of Lamoni, Kamarie and Bray Pierschbacher of Davis City and Burke Pierschbacher of Kellerton.
Memorials may be made to Beaconsfield United Methodist Church, EveryStep Hospice or in the name of Jim Smith for a memorial contribution to the community to be determined by the family.
Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of the arrangements.
Celebration of life was held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at the United Methodist Church in Beaconsfield, IA.
Officiating was Pastor June Nolte-Davis, Pastor Rick Hawkins and Pastor Bill Armstrong.
Musicians were Justin Akers and The Hynek Family.
Songs were “Keep on the Sunnyside”, “One Day at a Time”, “Auctioneer Song” and “Happy Trails”.
Casketbearers were Blaine Smith, Donovan Smith, Julia Smith, Nate Pierschbacher, Weston Pierschbacher, Cael Fiderlein and Wyatt Fiderlein.
Honorary casketbearers were Haylee Smith, Mickenzie Kack, Shelby Pierschbacher, Courtney Pierschbacher, Emaleigh Pierschbacher, Kamarie Pierschbacher, Bray Pierschbacher and Burke Pierschbacher.
Burial was at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, IA.