James A. Smith, 76, of Staunton, Ill., died at St. John's Hospital in Springfield on Sunday, May 21, 2023. He was born March 18, 1947, in Litchfield, to Kenton and May (Yakos) Smith. He married Cheryl J. Cherry on June 7, 1980, in Benld. She survives.

He was retired after having been a dispatcher for the Illinois State Police. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army who served during the Vietnam era. James was a member of the VFW of Staunton, and a 45-year member of the Masonic Lodge of Staunton. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and a Los Angeles Rams fan. He enjoyed John Wayne movies and listening to Patsy Cline and Tina Turner.

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Smith of Staunton; son, Jeff Compton of Staunton; daughter, Carrie (Ken) Malarik of Benld; grandson, Joey Orban of East Alton; brother-in-law, Andy (Rose) Cherry of Pleasant Plains; and several nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, John Smith and Bob Smith.

Funeral services were held Thursday, May 25, at Kravanya Funeral Home in Gillespie.

Memorials are suggested to Wounded Warriors, St. Joseph's Church or Shriners Hospitals for Children. Condolences may be left online at

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