James Edward Smith

September 16, 1943 ~ September 24, 2018 (age 75)

James Edward Smith, age 75 of Laurel Hill, passed away on Monday, September 24, 2018.  He and his family moved to Laurel Hill in 1960, where he met and married his wife Judy of 57 years.  They have been residents of the rural Laurel Hill area ever since.  James is survived by his 3 children: James Randy Smith and his wife Doris, Judy Barbara Allen and husband Dale and Julie Rebecca Chumbley and husband Jarad all of Laurel Hill.  Also surviving James are his 4 grandchildren: Kyndalle, Jocelyn, Jay, Jeremy.  James became a member of the Laurel Hill Volunteer Fire Department in the early 1960’s.  He founded the Almarante Fire Department in 1984, and became the Chief of the Almarante VFD until he retired in 2000.  In addition, he worked for Okaloosa County Road Department and was the supervisor of District 3.  James was a member of the Laurel Hill Masonic Lodge #44 and was past Master.  He also raised livestock and enjoyed hunting and fishing, when he wasn’t busy with the fire department or caring for the farm animals.

            The celebration of James’ life will be on Friday, September 28, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Whitehurst-Powell Funeral Home.  Burial will follow in the Almarante Cemetery.  A time of visitation with the family will begin at 1:00 p.m.



Arrangements are entrusted to Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home in Crestview.  Guest book and condolences are available online at


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