James Benjamin Smoak, 88, of Orangeburg died April 3, 2013 at Calhoun Convalescent Center. Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Dukes-Harley Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. David Childers officiating. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday, April 5, 2013 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Dukes-Harley Funeral Home.
Mr. Smoak was born July 4, 1924 in Orangeburg, son of the late Jake B. and Annie Mae Bozard Smoak. He was a graduate of Orangeburg High School and attended Clemson University. Mr. Smoak was a veteran of World War II serving as a pilot in the Army Air Corps and was awarded numerous medals. During the 50’s and 60’s Mr. Smoak served as Commander of the VFW at local and state levels. Nationwide he was chosen as Commander of the Year. During this time he helped establish the South Carolina Physically Handicapped Society. This brought him to be appointed by President John F. Kennedy to serve on The Committee for Employment of the Physically Handicapped. In 1983 Mr. Smoak donated land to the City of Orangeburg to be used as a law enforcement training facility. Mr. Smoak was owner of Lakeview Skating Rink and Jake Smoak Electric Company. He was a board member of the Orangeburg County Fair Association and a member of First Baptist Church of Orangeburg where he was a former Trustee
Survivors include his wife of 71 years, Sadie Brooks Smoak; daughters Ann (Lawrence) Garick of Orangeburg and Tommie Kay (Ken) Garrick of Lexington; 4 grandchildren, Pamela Wachowski, Tracey Farnham, Taylor Garick and Jonathan Garrick; and 9 great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 1240 Russell Street, Orangeburg, SC 29115 or a charity of one’s choice.