• Last modified 814 days ago (April 27, 2017)


James Smith

Former Centre High School principal James Eldon “Jim” Smith, 79, died April 18.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Wilsey Christian Church, Wilsey.

Born Jan. 1, 1938, to Orville “Pete” and Juanita (Stover) Smith in Wilsey, he was a graduate of Wilsey High School. He attended Emporia State College where he played basketball and received a bachelor’s degree in education. Both a teacher and coach, he started his career in Genoseo and eventually became principal of Centre High School in Lost Springs and Bluestem High School in Leon.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Angie Prince.

He is survived by his wife, Sue (Novo-Gradac) Smith of Wichita; children, Debbie Kay of Trenton, Georgia, Jamie Tucker of Salina, Kim Engel of Herington, Kraig Smith of Emporia, Steve Drake of Gaithersburg, Maryland, Dan Drake of Wichita, Elisa Rottinghaus of Falls City, Nebraska, and Andrea Drake of Chicago, Illinois; brothers Bob Smith of Emporia and Larry Smith of Marion; 19 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.

Last modified April 27, 2017