James (Jim) Smith

James Smith entered this world Oct. 12, 1953, and departed April 13, 2009.

In many ways born 100 years too late, Jim was a man of the mountains and the outdoors long before it was popular. He was a lover of nature, all things natural, and the old ways of cast iron cooking and canning your own food, building a fire with a flint, black powder rifles and mountain man rendezvous.

Jim respected himself and others. His self-confidence, without even a trace of arrogance, attracted people from all walks of life. He was equally content with the rich and the destitute because he wasn’t much impressed by position or possessions. Although he looked at people without discrimination, prejudice or preconceived ideas, his ability to discern true character was uncanny.

Jim saw things differently than most people. His expressions were those neither read nor heard elsewhere. His sense of humor was enjoyed by all who spent time with him, and he absolutely loved to bring a smile to those around him. He knew how to playfully tease, tell a good story, and embellish a joke to make it even better than the way he heard it.

Jim’s passion in recent years was cooking. He read and studied extensively and experimented with techniques, sauces and spice blends. The best food in town was always at home. Many knew him for his northern New Mexico green chili sauce, which he learned to make from a lady born and raised in Pagosa Springs. Family and friends are establishing a culinary arts memorial scholarship fund in his name.

Jim is survived by his wife, Sharilyn, of Pagosa Springs, Colo; son Matthew Smith, of Alden, N.Y.; daughter Sarah Lacey, of Grand Junction, Colo.; parents George and Connie Smith, of Thornton, Colo.; brother Mike Smith, of Westminster, Colo.; brother Joel Smith, of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; many relatives in the greater Denver area; and friends wherever he went.