Jay Hugh Smith, Jr.

January 21, 1938 ~ February 23, 2022 (age 84)


Jay was born at Silverton, Oregon on January 21, 1938, to J Hugh Smith and Frances Eustace. His growing up years were spent in Molalla, Oregon and Emmett, Idaho. He passed away on February 23, 2022, at Bend, Oregon. Jay served in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1958, where he worked as an aircraft mechanic. He married Virginia Palmer Smith on July 2, 1961, and they were married over 60 years. Much of their adult life was spent in Alaska, where he worked construction through the piledrivers union, ran a variety of businesses, and pastored churches. Jay spent about forty years in Alaska. Shortly after arriving in Alaska, he settled in the small community of Willow, where he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and his life changed dramatically. He attended Apostolic Faith Bible School in Baxter Springs, Kansas. After completing a term there, he returned to serve in the church in Willow, and later became the pastor. Several years later, they moved fifty miles north and founded a church in Trapper Creek. To support his family, Jay started a sawmill business, He used lumber from that mill to build the church building there. Jay enjoyed hunting, and fishing. While in Willow, he took flying lessons and earned his pilot’s license. After Virginia started teaching in remote villages, he bought a small plane and that became the basic transportation to and from the schools where she taught. He loved flying and was very calm in challenging situations. He even survived three crashes with the only damage being to the checkbook for repair costs. Jay was a dreamer, an inventor, and a builder. He was quick to see opportunities and willing to take risks to seize them. In 1983, he started a guardrail construction company. He ran the field operations while his wife handled the business management. He built most of the equipment for the company including several guardrail punches and a guardrail straightener, using his own innovations and design, Over the years, he built several log and frame homes, and a commercial building. In 2011, he moved to Burns, Oregon, where he bought ranch property. He loved spending time at the cabin there, where he developed the spring to provide water and designed a solar system to provide all the conveniences. In Burns, he became a part of Life, the Burns Foursquare Church, where he was part of the leadership team. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh Smith and Frances Eustace, and three sisters: Shirley Mellott, Marietta Griffin, and June Ingersoll. He is survived by his wife, his son and his wife, Bill and Vicky Smith, his grandson and his wife Travis and Jolene Smith, his great-granddaughter, Kaylee Ann Smith, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. A memorial service will be held at Life Foursquare Church on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at 2 P.M. The family is suggesting a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in lieu of flowers

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Memorial Service
April 2, 2022

2:00 PM
Life 4 Square Church
74 S. Alvord Ave
Burns, OR 97720


Cure Alzheimer's Fund
34 Washington Street, Suite 200, Wellesley Hills MA 02481
Tel: 1-781-237-3800

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