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Oklahoma Misc. Obits


© Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise
Submitted by: Jo Aguirre


Jim Smythe

October 14, 1945 ~ October 25, 2018

Jim Smythe, age 73, died on October 25, 2018 in Tahlequah, OK. He was born in Bartlesville, OK on October 14, 1945, the son of Louise and Forrest Smythe. He graduated from College High School in Bartlesville in 1964 and from NSU in Tahlequah, OK and made his home in Tahlequah the remainder of his life.

Jim was a multi-talented individual, he could design and build anything. His biggest love was his home and land with a large assortment of animals ranging from dogs, cats, chickens, geese, and 5 llamas (all with unforgettable names). He was quick-witted and sometimes acid-tongued, but his friends were many and he was loyal to all.

One of his first building endeavors was a local hang-out called "Granny's Attic" which was situated close to the NSU campus. Jim worked many years with the "Trail of Tears" production in Tahlequah, both as an actor and on the set design. In 1989, Jim was Production Designer for a 5-part mini-series called "Oklahoma Passage" dramatizing 150 years of Oklahoma history. He followed that by being Art Director/Production Director on "Love Crimes", "Finding North", and the "Last Fair Deal", all shot in Dallas, Texas area. In 2003, he was Production Designer for "Where the Red Fern Grows" which was shot in Tahlequah. He also worked on many commercials in the late 1990's and early 2000's. They ranged from McDonalds to Sonic Drive In and the list goes on and on. IN addition, he served as Production Designer for several videos for CMT Network both in Dallas and Nashville. The friends he made on these movie sets became lifelong friends and many of them have visited him in the last few weeks of his life.

Jim had many artistic talents. He molded many clay forms and later took up stained glass. His family and friends have many of the products he made and they are cherished. Probably his biggest accomplishment was the building of 3 duplexes and one home which he built himself and rented out. While he was working in Dallas, he bought a beautiful acreage outside of Tahlequah and set out to build a Williamsburg style home for himself with outbuildings for his various animals. Over a number of months/years, he completed his home and made it the showcase it is today.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Louise and Forrest Smythe and a brother-in-law Lewis Ambler. He is survived by his sister, Sharon Ambler of Bartlesville, two nephews, Scott Ambler and wife Martha of Bartlesville and Wade Ambler of Overland Park KS, one niece, Julie Hill and husband Kenny of Southlake TX and six great nieces and nephews. He also left behind a host of friends from Texas and Oklahoma.

At Jim's request, no services are planned.

A memorial in Jim's name has been set up to benefit the "River City Players" of NSU. Checks can be made out to the NSU Foundation @ 812 N. Cedar Ave, Tahlequah, OK, 74464. Please tag your donation "RCP memorial for Jim Smythe".


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