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  James “Jim” Franklin Smith

  James “Jim” Franklin Smith

Funeral services for James “Jim” Franklin Smith will be held Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Parks Brothers Funeral Home Chapel in Okemah, Oklahoma.  Interment will follow at Highland Cemetery, Okemah, Oklahoma.

James “Jim” Franklin Smith was born October 4, 1937 in Okemah, Oklahoma to O.F. and Lilllian (Dodson) Smith. Raised in Okemah, Jim went all through school at Okemah graduating in 1955. Jim was a town kid, but truly all he wanted to be was a cowboy and rodeo for a living.  Jim roped calves and bulldogged, truly finding his calling when he was able to purchase a 3 year old gelding from Everette Crandall whom he named Ol’ Colt.

Jim met and married Delores (Taylor) Smith, a Sallisaw girl, whom he saw at the Checotah Rodeo while she was in the arena riding.  He thought to himself, I’m going to marry that girl one day, and on September 8, 1962, they did.  Jim and Delores moved to Okemah, then later bought their ranch out at Castle, Oklahoma, where they resided until his death on January 1, 2023.

Jim and Deloris welcomed their first child Jamie Maria in 1963, then son Justin in 1973.

Jim’s main passion was breaking and training quarter horses. Throughout the years Jim trained bulldogging horses for people such as Walter Merrick and Dallas Cowboys NFL running back Walt Garrison. Cowboys and cowgirl’s traveling down the road knew they could always pull their rig into the ranch and stay as long as they needed, knowing that Jim would always have a stall available, and Delores would always have a hot meal ready.

Jim’s rodeo career spanned from 1961 to 1974.  Jim was one of the founding members of the IRA, then later bought his RCA card where he qualified for the National Finals 4 times, 1966, 67, 71 and 72. Jim mounted and hazed for numerous bulldoggers throughout the years on his amazing bulldogging team, Ol’ Colt and Hottie.

After his rodeo career, Jim ranched and ran cattle at his Castle Ranch, hauled Jamie, Delores and Jennifer to rodeos and barrel races and later hauled and hazed for Justin and numerous High School bulldoggers.

Jim was County Commissioner from 1994-98.  Jim was honored to be inducted into the Okemah Hall of Fame and the Claremore Rodeo Hall of fame.

Jim and Delores loved their family, taking pride in their children and grandchildren.  Anytime someone was in the arena riding, training, or bulldogging you could find Jim out there in his buggy, critiquing and giving advice.  His favorite thing was watching his grandkids rodeo and play ball.  Jim was a friend to many, he loved his Lord, Jesus Christ, and will be greatly missed by us all.

He is preceded in death by his parents and wife, Delores.

He is survived by one son, Justin Smith and wife Garett of Castle, Oklahoma; one daughter, Jamie Wiedel and husband Andy of Beggs, Oklahoma; one brother, Pat Smith and Wife Kaye of Okemah; one sister, Earnestine Standley of Okemah, Oklahoma; four grandchildren, Jayci Gildhouse, Denver Berry, Odessa Smith and Remick Smith and one great-grandchild, Aurora Gildhouse.

Active pallbearers will be Butch Standley, Todd Standley, Jerry Lesyna, Mike Wolfe, Gary Smith, Rusty Adams, Denver Berry and Remick Smith.

Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Phil Hatcher, Jim Moore, Bill Duvall, Roy Duvall, Eugene Cheatwood, Jerry Peveto, Joe Edger Cheatwood, Gerald Crosby, Jim Dyer, Mike Goodson and Bob Warner.

Services will be under the direction of Parks Brothers Funeral Home and officiated by Bro. Billy Green and assisted by Bro. Mike Lewis.

Online condolences may be made at

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