GREENSBURG – James Lawrence Smith, 77, died on April 5, 2022 at Kiowa County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg. Jim was born on May 29, 1944 to Lawrence and Weta Smith. He attended Greensburg High School and graduated in 1962. He attended Emporia State University and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Wildlife Biology. As a student at Emporia State, Jim met his (future) wife Karen (Putnam) Smith. The couple married on August 14, 1966. Jim continued his education at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., completing a Masters in Wildlife Administration. He worked for a time at Cheyenne Bottoms in Great Bend, banding small birds and documenting the migration patterns of geese and ducks among other responsibilities. He often reflected that this was one of his favorite jobs in the wildlife field. He later returned to Greensburg to help with his family’s farming business. Soon after, he became a U.S. Postal Carrier, a job that he held for 34 years until his retirement in August 2005. Jim was a beloved, friendly face walking the mail routes of Greensburg. He was known to purchase stamps and place them in the mail boxes of people who were unable to buy their own stamps. Jim and Karen celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on August 14, 2021. Over the years, they created many special memories including taking country rides together, traveling together, and spending time with their grandchildren. The couple had one daughter, Angela. Jim and Angela had many shared interests that they loved to do together–watching college and professional sports, spending time in nature, and taking walks. In his retirement, Jim continued his love for the outdoors and wildlife by taking frequent rides in the country and holding a lifetime Kansas Hunting License. His hobbies included gardening and collecting Ducks Unlimited Duck Stamps beginning with year 1935 and decoys. When people in the community have described Jim to the family, they repeatedly have said, “He was one of the kindest people they ever met.” He also was remembered by many for his quick wit and sense of humor. Jim accepted Jesus as his savior at the age of seven and was a member of the First Christian Church in Greensburg and later the Church of Christ in Mullinville. Survivors include: Karen Smith, wife; Angela, daughter, and her husband, Torrey Walters; Addison Walters and Treyden Walters, grandchildren; Jerry Smith, brother. Jim was proceeded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Weta Smith, and his sister-in-law, June Smith. Visitation will be held on Friday, April 8, 2022 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Fleener Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on April 9, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. at the First Methodist Church in Greensburg with Pastor Jeffrey D. Blackburn presiding. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Greensburg. A public reception will be held Saturday, 3:30 at the First Baptist Church, Greensburg. Memorials are suggested to: The Friends of Education Charitable Trust, which benefits Kiowa County students, in care of Fleener Funeral Home, 514 S. Main St., PO Box 41, Greensburg, KS 67054.
Fleener Funeral Home is a caring compassionate organization dedicated to helping you in your time of need. We want to serve our community and are ready to assist you. Call 620.723.2612 for more information