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Official Obituary of

James Ora Smathers

May 4, 1952 ~ May 18, 2023 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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James Smathers Obituary

James Ora Smathers, age 71, of Canton, NC, passed away on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at his residence.

James was born on May 4, 1952, in Haywood County to the late Robert Baxter Smathers and Betty Mitchell Smathers.

He was a 1970 graduate of Pisgah High School and attended Haywood Community College. James retired in 2009 from his job as the Fire Chief and Electrical Inspector for the town of Canton. He was an extremely hard worker and very dedicated to his job. He was instrumental in helping the town of Canton recover from the two major floods that occurred in 2004.

James enjoyed fly fishing and tying flies in his spare time. He also loved to travel with his family to  Myrtle Beach and  the Walt Disney World theme parks. He was a very active person who loved to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains, play billiards, and walk his dog at the Canton Recreation Park.

Most importantly, James was a wonderful and loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He will be deeply missed by all that knew and loved him.

In addition to his parents, his is preceded in death by his brother, Mitch Smathers; and two sisters, Sandra Rodgers and Sharon Williams.

Those left behind to cherish his memory are his dear wife of 49 years, Pamela O’Neil Smathers of Canton; a son, Shawn Smathers and his wife Jennifer, of Canton; a granddaughter, Brooklyn Smathers of Canton; a grandson, Lucan Smathers of Canton; three nieces; two nephews; a great-niece; two great-nephews; and his beloved Italian Greyhound, Dasher.

A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at 2:00 PM at Oak Grove Baptist Church, 39 State Rd. 1627, Clyde, NC 28721, conducted by Pastor Jeff King.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial contributions made in honor of James be made to: The Haywood County Rescue Squad, 2 School Street, Canton, NC 28716.

Online condolences may be made at:

Penland Family Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Smathers family with arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Ora Smathers, please visit our floral store.

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Memorial Service
June 1, 2023

2:00 PM
Oak Grove Baptist Church
39 State Rd. 1627
Clyde, NC 28721


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