James Buford Smathers, 80, of Mt. Sterling, died Thursday, January 9, 2020 at St. Joseph Hospital. He was born in Mt. Sterling on November 12, 1939 to the late William Smathers and Anna Margaret Overstreet.
James was a lifelong resident of Mt. Sterling and graduated from Dubois High School in 1957. He then joined the Army in 1960 and was Honorably Discharged in 1963. James was a member of Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church where he played the piano and served as the choir director. He was very passionate about music and even wrote his own music as well as being a member of The Central Kentucky Mass Choir.
Creativity was a common theme in James life. He built and flew kites. He also won several kite flying competitions at Jacobson Park. James loved the comic illustrator, Gary Larson. He collected his comic strip drawings over the years. The artist in him liked to redraw these comics to pinpoint accuracy. He enjoyed animals, fishing, bowling, spending time with his friends and family and being involved with his church family. James will be dearly missed by his many friends and his loving family.
He is survived by Bertha Smathers, his wife of fifty-six years; two daughters, Leatrice Ann Smathers of Lexington, Kentucky and Yvette Johnson of Nashville, Tennessee; two grandchildren, Chastity Acree and Jasmine Acree both of Nashville, Tennessee; and one sister Anna Allen of Covina, California and a host of nephews, cousins and other extended family. He is also survived by "Cooper Daniels", Leatrice's dog; and his girl, "Squirt", the cat.
In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by his sister Lucille Butler.
Funeral will be held Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 12:00PM. Visitation will take place prior from 10:00AM - 12:00PM. Both will be held at Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church with Reverend Gregory Bonner officiating. Committal will take place Thursday, January 16, 2020 at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville.
Pallbearers: Dwight Overstreet, Ronnie Overstreet, Matt Overstreet, Ralph Taul, Norman Cunningham, Kenny Cunningham, Larry Cunningham, Doug Cunningham, Hobert Owens, Derwood Blanton and Tim Anderson.
Honorary Pallbearers: The Gentlemen of Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church.
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