James E. Smithson
(August 9, 1917 - April 9, 2009)
James E. “Eddie” Smithson, 91, of Bloomington, IL, formerly of Shelbyville, IL and Vero Beach, FL, died at 12:20 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2009 in McLean County Nursing Home, Normal, Illinois.
Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2009 in the First United Methodist Church of Ellsworth, Illinois with Dave O’Neall officiating. Visitation from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Monday in Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville with Masonic rites at 7:00 p.m. by Jackson Masonic Lodge #53 of Shelbyville. Visitation will also be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday in Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home in Bloomington. Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery in Bloomington. Memorials may be given to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Mr. Smithson was born on August 9, 1917 in Girard, Illinois, the son of James A. and Ethel Hodges Smithson. He married Helen L. Arrowsmith on August 23, 1939. Eddie farmed in Arrowsmith, Illinois and south of Bloomington and was a McLean County Sheriff’s Special Deputy from 1941-1949. In 1949 they moved to Eureka, Illinois and he began working for Production Credit Association. They moved to Shelbyville, Illinois in 1953 and Eddie became a dealer for International Harvester. He later was a manufacturer’s representative for Parker Industries and P & H Manufacturing in Shelbyville. Eddie was a former Shelbyville City Commissioner and former member of the First United Methodist Church of Shelbyville, where he was known for his singing, positive outlook, humor and handshake. He was a member of Jackson Masonic Lodge #53 of Shelbyville and Ansar Shrine and Jesters both of Springfield, Illinois. He was a life member of Moose Lodge #1294 of Shelbyville and Elks Lodge #401 of Decatur. Eddie and Helen moved to Vero Beach, Florida in the late 1980s, where he was a member of the Christ by the Sea United Methodist Church.
Surviving are his wife Helen; children, Judy Smithson (Bob) Boehle of Bloomington, James A. (Cathy) Smithson of Forsyth and Rodney E. (Carol) Smithson of Bloomington; sister, Mildred O’Neall of Normal, IL; grandchildren, Katie (Dylan) Burch of Norfolk, VA, Erik Smithson of San Francisco, CA, Anthony (Sarah) Smithson of Decatur, GA, and Kimberly (Brett) Leskovisek of Champaign, IL; step grandchildren, Dr. Kevin (Candy) Boehle of Highland Village, TX and Denise Boehle of Savannah, GA; great grandchildren, Emery Christine Burch of Norfolk, VA; and step-grandchildren, Andrew Engel of Savannah, GA and Tyler, Austin and Blake Boehle of Highland Village, TX.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Robert and Gerald; and two sisters, Genevieve Ball and Arlene Hollingsworth Hertenstein.
Special thanks to the caring staff of McLean County Nursing Home for their love and caring. Thanks also for all the help from the staff and friends at Westminster Village.