James B. Smith © Trout Funeral Home 10-2016 Submitted by: Jo Aguirre
Dr. James B. “J.B.” Smith passed away on October 16, 2016. He was born on March 10, 1933 to George and Frankie Smith in Clayton, Missouri.
J.B. was a diverse adventurer, traveling with his wife, Bobbie, to all 50 states as well as to many foreign countries. He had such a love for life, whether it was spending time with his family, playing and watching sports, learning about new advances in science, reading anything and everything, or caring for his horses and his ranches. His quest for knowledge shaped him into an interesting and intellectual person. Growing up, J. B. worked at his father’s truck stop, Tucker Hill Auto & Transfer Co. in Gray Summit, MO. During high school, he worked at Ralston Purina. While attending Antioch College (1950-1955) in Yellow Springs, OH, which was a study-plus-work program, he had one of his greatest adventures being a member of Trans-Pac, the First Scientific Expedition to Japan after WW II in 1953. The crew made comparisons of biological sea life and chemical analysis of water. They also had an audience with the Emperor of Japan to whom they presented gifts of unclassified sea specimens.
He met his wife, Roberta “Bobbie” Gruskin while at Antioch. After graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry, he and Bobbie married in Gray Summit, MO. They moved to College Station, TX (1956-1960) where J.B. graduated from Texas A&M with a M.S. and Ph. D in Chemical Oceanography. He was hired as a Senior Research Scientist at Continental Oil Co. in 1960, where he remained until 1974. He was granted two patents while working with Conoco. In 1962, he and Bobbie moved to their present home site on Lake Road in Ponca City. They bred and raised Thoroughbred horses and Black Angus cattle on the J-S Thoroughbred Ranch from 1963 to 1980. In 1975, J.B. got his real estate license and worked at Lee Real Estate Office. He went on to become a Broker/Owner/Agent, opening his own office with Bobbie in 1978, J. B. Smith Real Estate, which they had until 2000. He continued working for Tom Hawkins Real Estate until 2008. J.B. served as President of the Ponca City Board of Realtors in 1981 and 1997, as well as several years on the Board of Directors. J.B. was honored as Realtor of the Year in 1982, was State President of the Oklahoma Farm and Land Institute and honored as Broker of the Year in 1987.
He was a member of the National Association Security Dealers, National Association of Realtors, State and Local Association of Realtors and GRI 1. He served as Director of the Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Economic Development Foundation of Ponca City. J.B. was a member of and served as President of Temple Emanuel for 31 years. J.B. served as President, Secretary and Director of Pioneer Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Elks Lodge, as well as a Scottish Rite Mason for 54 years. He most recently served on the Excise Board for Kay County.
J.B. was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Bobbie.
He is survived by his sister, Mary Frances Heisel of Washington, MO; three daughters and their husbands, Cindy and Fred Wigley of Ponca City, OK, Carol and Mark Watkins of Guthrie, OK, and Charlene and COL (Ret) Wesley Rehorn of Hominy, OK; his grandchildren (and their spouses) Samantha Wigley, Miranda and John Andrews, Adam Gaddis, Rachael and Jared Ford, Logan and Kaitlyn Watkins, Leia and Jonathan Charak, and CPT Steyer Rehorn and Alejandra Arreguin Rehorn; and great-grandkids Nic Conyers, Caylee Andrews, Audrey, Ethan and Scarlett Ford; his lady friend of 10 years, Janell Moore, and the son he never had, Dennis Bruder.
A funeral ceremony will be held at Temple Emanuel at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 with burial to follow at Resthaven Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations in J.B.’s memory may be made to Temple Emanuel, 1201 E. Highland, Ponca City, OK 74601 or Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, 445 Fairview Ave., Ponca City, OK 74601 or Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.
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