Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
James “Jim” Smith, DDS Memorial
James “Jim” Smith, DDS Memorial

James “Jim” Smith, DDS

James “Jim” Smith, DDS

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

James “Jim” Vincent Smith, DDS, age 80, passed away Wednesday, April 7, 2021 in Burlington, Washington. He was born May 8, 1940 in Ketchikan, Alaska to John Henry Smith and Verna Bailey.

Jim is survived by his wife, Judy of Sedro-Woolley; his children, Tyler (Jessica Namgdirb), Josie (Scott) Lykken, Darrin (Sandy) Leber; grandchildren, Kyle (Christina) Leber, Justin Leber (Gina Flint); great-grandchildren, Sawyer, and Weston Leber; his beloved Golden Retriever Baker.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father; cousin, Mike; aunt Virginia.

Jim moved to Walla Walla as a youth, and Everett as a teen. He graduated from Everett High in 1958. He attended Everett Jr. College then the University of Washington for pre-med and Dental school. Jim graduated in 1967 with his Doctorate of Dental Surgery.

After graduation, Jim served in the navy as a medical officer in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in June of 1969. Jim returned to Everett and opened his private practice in 1970.

In 1978, he married Darla Buhtz, and adopted her daughter Josie. Tyler was born in 1980.

In April of 1990, Jim married Judy Leber, bringing him to Sedro-Woolley. They enjoyed many adventures traveling, backpacking, fishing in Tofino, BC, and skiing.

Jim retired from private practice in 2006, only to find his new passion working as the dentist and teacher for the students at Job Corp until his retirement in 2014.

Jim loved to garden and took great pride in the beautiful gardens he and Judy created at their home. Talking and spending time with family and friends always brought him so much pleasure.

As passionate as he was about his hobbies and gardening, Jim’s greatest joy was his family, being a grandpa, and a great grandpa. He enjoyed teaching all of his children to ski and sharing his love of the outdoors, hiking, fishing, backpacking, and boating.

Jim’s faith was a large part of who he was. Family and friends remember the times of his off-key singing of all the hymns in church and especially his personal rendition of Happy Birthday!

An Inurnment Committal Service will be held at 1:00, Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Union Cemetery, Sedro-Woolley.  There will be a Memorial Service at St. James Episcopal Church and a Celebration of life on a future date. Memorial gifts can be made to Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club of Skagit or Helping Hands Foodbank in Sedro-Woolley or charity of your choice.  Share your memories of Jim and sign the online guest register.


  • Dana Heald

    I met Jim when he came to Job Corps to be the Center dentist and I was the clinic manager. What an utterly wonderful, funny, warm, magnificent human being! I’m so sorry to hear of his passing because he was one of the “good guys”. My heartfelt condolences to Judy and the kids. We won’t see Jim’s like again.

  • Joel and Julie Clayton

    Judy, Darren, Sandy, Kyle and Justin. You all have been a part of our lives for over 25 years. Judy, you and Jim welcomed our son into your lives . You treated him as one of your own, surrogate grandson. We enjoyed our dinners, 4th of July parties. Joel loved talking about the military with Jim. I enjoyed his laugh, hugs and knowledge of wine. You are all in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

  • Katy Carter

    Judy, I just found Jim’s obituary notice. I am sorry for your loss.

  • Rebecca Skrinde

    Judy, Jim was always smiling and I know how much he loved you. We at Helping Hands food bank miss him and we know he is with his savior. Love you you and your whole family.

  • Rita M.

    Our condolences to the family. I was 10 when started seeing Dr. Smith as our family dentist, we were one of his first patiences and continued until the day he retired. He became my children’s dentist and help my youngest to not be afraid of the dentist, especially after he locked himself in the bathroom and refused to come out. He was the most gentle and caring dentist. I actually looked forward to my checkups to catch up with what was going on in his world.

    You did awesome work and I thank you for that. On to your next chapter, fly high Dr. Smith.

  • Cami (Pierce) Kaltbrunner

    Jim, thank you for being the fatherly figure for me. Those challenging talks in the dentist chair that made me think beyond my limited thinking. I loved your caring heart. But mostly I thank you for taking on a poor 12 year old who had never been to the dentist before. I remember your words as if it were today, “I’m about saving teeth not removing them.” All of my kids went to you over the years. I was sad when you retired and missed seeing my grand children in your chair! Love you to the moon and back! I’ll see you on the other side!

  • Doug Ferguson


    Please accept my condolences. You may not remember me, as I believe we met only briefly one time,, but I spent many great times sing with Jim in the 70s and 80s (hello-skiing in British Columbia. Sin Valley, Whistler and man y many days at Stevens Pass. Jim was just such a nice guy and a great friend. I will remember him very fondly.

    Doug Ferguson

  • Geri Pewitt

    My name is Geri Pewitt. I worked for Dr. Smith from 1973 until 1975 , had my first child, came back after a year and worked again in his office until around 1978.

    I am sad to hear of his passing, but happy to read that his life was filled with happiness and grandchildren.

    Dr. Smith was an important part of my early adulthood. I was 19 when I began working with him and began my first real job! He was an amazing dentist. Such a perfectionist!!!I always felt so confident in referring family and friends to him. I felt proud to be a part of his team.

    I am recalling how excited he was to have a daughter and then Tyler!

    I didn’t keep in touch but he was someone I thought of and had heard he had married an incredible woman and was so very happy!!

    My heartfelt condolences to all of you.
    Geri Pewitt


    Judy, Our condolences for the loss of your dear husband, Jim. He used to run the jogging trail in Sedro Woolley and would stop to talk with me as I slowly jogged the trail. After a short time he needed to return to his fast pace with Baker, and would jet ahead of me and off to the sunset he would go. He will be missed. May the Lord bless you in your time of sorrow.