Back in the late 1960’s Jim and Beverly Smith moved from a small town in Indiana to the Lake of the Ozarks.
Every Sunday morning Osage Beach Fire Chief Jeff Dorhauer has a ritual.He watches several shows before he starts his day and of those shows have a segment called "A Life Well Lived".
The purpose is to highlight the life of an individual who had an impact on those around them in a positive way. The show's segment brings to mind a man who recently passed away who did indeed leave behind a legacy within the Osage Beach Fire Protection District.
Back in the late 1960’s Jim and Beverly Smith moved from a small town in Indiana to the Lake of the Ozarks. The Smith’s and their four children settled down in Osage Beach on the west end of the bridge. For many years, Jim and Beverly owned and operated Smith Boys RV on the west side of the bridge.
Upon retirement Jim picked up a hobby of scroll sawing.
"I was amazed at the detail that he had mastered on these pieces and as a hobbyist with wood; I knew I could never have the patience, the hand eye coordination, or the artistry to master his skills," Dorhauer said.
Back in the late 1960’s Osage Beach and in particular Osage Beach Volunteer Fire Association looked quite a bit different than it does today. The fire department was still in its infancy stages having been organized in 1964. Jim was one of those early volunteers serving with the department from 1969-1981.
"I had the opportunity several weeks ago to visit with Jim and Beverly and we talked about the old days with the department. Early in my career with the district I used to come in early to sit and talk, well listen, to old stories with another “old-timer”, Phil Hurtubise. (I use this term with the utmost respect)," Dorhauer said. " I love history so these stories bring to life for me the department before I was here. While Jim’s memory could not recall everything from those days, you could see a sparkle in his eyes and a smile come to his face as he shared those he could. From a visiting chief from Indiana that knew Beverly’s father, also a longtime volunteer, to a car fire at the old Standard Station on Highway 54 and Winn Rd, you could see the pride Jim had was still there."
Jim started a tradition when joining the department in 1969, a tradition that still lives today. The fire service prides itself on tradition and one of the long standing traditions that still plays out today is generations of families who serve in both volunteer and career ranks. When Jim joined in 1969 he would be the first of three generations to serve the community in the fire department. His son Rick served the department for 44 years in the ranks of firefighter, captain, major, battalion chief, assistant chief and an elected member of the board of directors and his grandson, Brad, who now serves as an engineer will celebrate his 20th year with the department.
What Jim started as a volunteer has become a lasting legacy within the fire department. Jim passed away last week at the age of 88. While Jim is no longer here to share his stories of the way things used to be, the legacy that began with him and has accounted for 50 years of service within the Smith family to Osage Beach Fire truly defines A Life Well Lived.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 12:00 noon at the Brumley Baptist Church, A855, Highway C. Brumley. The family will welcome friends for visitation from 10:00a.m.-12:00 p.m. prior to the service at the church.