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James O. "Salty" Smith, son of James T. and Evelyn L (Brennan) Smith was born on July 28, 1944, in Nebraska City, Nebraska. He was the eldest of two children. James attended school in Auburn, Nebraska and graduated from Auburn High School in 1963. It was during a fun night out on the town in Brownville and a blind date that he met the love of his life, Roberta Ballue. He would drive to Brownville every day to see her and when his car would break down, he would walk the 10 miles one way to spend time with her. James and Roberta were married May 5,1963, in Nemaha, Nebraska and were blessed with 3 children, Shelly, Kelly and James. The couple lived in California for a short few months before moving back to Auburn where they finally made their forever home in Brownville.
After moving to Brownville, Salty began working in 1965 on the Dredge Lewis on the Missouri River. In 1971, he went to work for N.P.P.D. helping in the construction of Cooper Nuclear Station and retired from Cooper in 2009. Salty became an EMT in 1988 and volunteered for Brownville Rescue squad and fire department. When Brownville merged with Nemaha Rescue, he volunteered there until his health wouldn't allow him to do so anymore. Salty was a member of the Brownville Christian Church where he was baptized in 1983. Salty was an active member until his health didn't allow him to do so anymore.
Salty loved to fish, garden, canning, garage sales and trade things. He would rather trade something that he had as to buy it. Salty never passed up a garage sale. Salty passed this trait on to his great grandson that loves to hit the garage sales. He loved to tinker with things and wasn't one to throw anything away. He would tear it apart and try to fix it. Throughout his life, Jim and Roberta took in other kids (Karla, Nathan, Tony and many others) when they needed a place to go, even if it was just for a short while. Jim loved his family and many others with all he had.
Salty passed away at his home on Monday, March 13, 2023, having reached the earthly age of seventy-eight years, seven months and thirteen days. He is preceded in death by his parents; loving wife Roberta, daughter Shelly Smith-Myers, son-in-law Tim Myers, daughter-in-law Jessica Smith and grandson Henry Cotton.
Salty is survived by his children: Kelly (Travis) Ragan and James Smith, Grandchildren: Jessica (Matthew) Alsup, Kyla (Patric) Tiemeyer, Jeremiah (Meagan) Kimpston, Kristin Smith, Kyle Smith, Kody Smith, Cassius Cotton, Erin Smith, Kristen Ragan and Tasi (Aaron) Mayfield, Great-grandchildren: Ryan Paris, Raelee Russell, Rogan Russell, Taytin Tiemeyer, Brynna Alsup, Bentley Kimpston, Elsi Tiemeyer, Grant Kimpston, Sunny Smith, Motley Smith, Cash Janzen, Adleigh Eller, Maclyn Eller, Dawson Mayfield, Rowan Mayfield, “Adopted Great-Grandkids” Hank McCoy, Noah McCoy, Oliver Paris, Lena Paris, Jace Sullwold, Wyatt Sullwold, and many other family and friends.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 20, 2023, at the Hall Funeral Chapel, 707 15th street in Auburn, Nebraska with Pastor Mike Wenig officiating. Interment will follow services at the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Brownville, Nebraska.
Visitation will be from 1-8 p.m. on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at the Hall Funeral Chapel in Auburn. Family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be given to the family’s choice with a later designation.
Condolences can be shared online at www.hallfuneral.net
Services entrusted to Hall Funeral Chapel-707 15th Street-Auburn, Nebraska 68376 (402) 274-3131