James S. Smith 1963-2022 | News, Sports, Jobs

FREEDOM – James S. Smith, 59, died peacefully Tuesday evening, Sept. 13, 2022, at his home after a four-year battle with cancer.

James was born on May 26, 1963 in Youngstown, the son of Stephen Paul and Alice L. Flink Smith.

Jim was a Liberty Township police officer for 25 years, retiring in 2017, and previously served as an officer at Struthers for five years. He started the first K-9 unit at the Liberty Police Department. His fellow K-9 officer was Valor, who twice saved his life while on duty. Jim graduated in 1981 from Cardinal Mooney High School and Youngstown State University Police Academy.

Jim was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Hubbard, the Liberty Township Fraternal Order of Police, the Knights of Columbus, and the Avalon Tennis Club. He felt most at peace spending time at the Milton Lake Yacht Club. He played trumpet for the Warren Junior Military Band and played semi-pro football for the Youngstown Cobras. He owned and cared for 26 husky sled dogs and traveled to race them. For many years he provided DJ services under the name Jim Smith, DJ Productions. He was an avid Las Vegas Raiders fan, but most of all, Jim cherished all of his grandchildren’s pursuits. Family meant everything to him.

Jim is survived by his wife, Tricia D. Barnett Smith, whom he married June 10, 2006; daughter, Alyson Smith and fiancé, Chad Smathers of Girard; three grandchildren, Deklan, Axel and Adalia; three brothers, Stephen (Eva) Smith of Poland, Gary (Judy) Smith of Struthers, and Pat (Kathy) Grant of Hermitage, Pennsylvania; stepfather, David Barnett of Austintown; and brother-in-law, Troy (Mary) Barnett of Canfield. Loki, his beloved Norwegian Forest cat, was the best therapy he had.

His parents predeceased him; son, Trent Alexander Swan, who died April 13, 2021; K-9 police dog, Valor; brother, Frank Smith; stepmother, Karen Barnett; and grandmother, Mary Minick.

Calling hours will be 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home, Niles.

A Christian burial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, September 19, 2022 at the funeral home. Reverend Michael Swierz will officiate.

Interment will be at Greenhaven Cemetery, with an escort from the Liberty Police Department.

Memorial contributions may be made to New Lease on Life (Animal Rescue), 2773 E Midlothian Blvd., Struthers, OH 44471.

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Jennifer R. Strohm