James E. Smith, 71, firefighter for city

October 19, 2002

James E. Smith, 71, firefighter for city

James Edward Smith, a retired Baltimore firefighter and model railroader, died of cancer Oct. 12 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. He was 71.

Mr. Smith was born in Strasburg, Va., raised in Hampden and graduated from Thomas Edison Vocational Senior High School on Howard Street.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1949 and was assigned as a driver in the motor pool at Camp Pendleton in California. He was discharged as a sergeant in 1952.

Mr. Smith joined the Baltimore City Fire Department in 1957 and was assigned to Truck Co. 5 at Central and North avenues. He spent most of his career as a driver and tillerman at Truck 29 on Cold Spring Lane. He was an acting lieutenant at the time of his 1992 retirement.

The longtime former Hamilton resident was an avid model railroader. He had constructed a large HO-gauge model railroad layout in the basement of the Stewartstown, Pa., home, where he had lived since 1995.

"He also built the cars, houses and scenery," said his wife of 46 years, the former Sandra Reedy.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Wednesday at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in Hampden.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Smith is survived by a son, Gregory J. Smith; a daughter, Leslie V. Price; and his mother, Carrie Ruth Smith, all of Stewartstown; a brother, Milton T. Smith of Culpeper, Va.; and five grandchildren.

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