News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

James Lesesne Smith, May 22, 1933 - July 6, 2021

James Lesesne Smith, 88, of Tigard, Oregon, passed away on July 6. A family service and interment was held on July 13 at Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego with the Reverend Brad Toebben officiating.

Jim was born in San Jose, California, to Jean Harriet Fleming Smith and Dixon Henshaw Smith on May 22, 1933. He was married to Glenn “Tommie” Litch from December 29, 1959 to May 27, 1983 and Carolyn Nielsen from July 9, 1995 to August 29, 2015; both preceded him in death.

Graduating from Louisiana State University in 1959 with a degree in physics, Jim spent the majority of his career working as an engineer for companies as varied as Sperry Gyroscope in New York, Perkin-Elmer in Connecticut, Propulsion Systems Incorporated of Washington, and Hydra-Power Systems of Oregon.

A United States Marine Corps veteran, Jim was immensely proud of his service to his country and continued his service to community via the Boy Scouts, the Episcopal Church, Kiwanis International, and the Sisters Jazz Festival.

Jim and Tommie raised their three children together in Green’s Farms, Connecticut, before moving to Lake Oswego, Oregon. Subsequently, he and Carolyn enjoyed their retirement for 16 years in Sisters.

Jim is survived by his children, Dixon Rhodes Smith (Kiki), Deborah Glenn Cowgill (Steve), and Dustin Anne Johnson (Joel), as well as eight grandchildren.

The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the staff of Avamere Rehabilitation of Hillsboro and Signature Hospice for all their care and compassion during Jim’s final months. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim’s name may be made to Koolen-de Vries Syndrome Foundation at in honor of Jim’s grandson, Willie Johnson, who has Koolen-de Vries Syndrome, or Christ Church Episcopal Parish, P.O. Box 447, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.


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