Frank James Smith died Oct. 31, 2016, in Paonia. He was 87.
At his request, no services are planned.
He was born to Clyde and Nettie (McConnell) Smith on April 18, 1929, several miles north of Council Grove, Kan. When he was 7, the family moved to a farm near Winthrop, Wash. He graduated from high school in Winthrop.
In 1948 he joined the USFS as a smoke jumper. He worked on the family farm and other farms in the area custom baling while finishing high school.
He received a football scholarship to Puget Sound College in Tacoma, Wash., where he also played on the baseball team as a left-handed pitcher. In January 1951, during the Korean Conflict, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Germany.
After his discharge, he began working for the American Chrome Company in Nye, Mont., He married Ila Mae Sorenson in 1953. They divorced in 1973.
When the mine in Nye closed, he went to work at the Climax Mine in Leadville in 1959. He was later promoted to the geology department, where he remained until his retirement in December 1981.
He married Bertie Calton in 1979. He helped his wife in their pet grooming shops in Leadville and Paonia.
In 1990 they bought a place with a garden and fruit trees in Paonia. Mr. Smith enjoyed growing and delivering fruit and vegetables, hunting, fishing and dogs.
He is survived by his wife, Bertie; three children, Tracy (Terry) McGeehan of Silverthorne, Valarie Stauffer of Delta and Gregory Smith of Grand Junction; two stepchildren, Brady (Kathy) Calton of Eagle and Tanya Brown of Longmont; grandchildren, Jennyfer and Ryan Jones, Jason McGeehan, Jordan and Jimi Poin-
dexter, Whittney Smythe-Smith, Spencer Smith, Morgan and Taylor Calton, Jamie, Zachary, Abigail and Christopher Brown; and four great-grandchildren, Austin Stauffer, Aiden McGeehan, Eleanore and Delilah Poindexter.
He was preceded in death by a brother; and a granddaughter, Leslie Stauffer.
Memorial contributions may be sent to HopeWest, PO Box 24, Delta, CO 81416.
Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory handled the arrangements.
View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com.
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.