James Payne Wintersmith was born November 25th, 1931, in St. Louis Missouri, to the late James P. Wintersmith Sr. and Shirley Boles. He was the first of two sons born to this union. James’ father rose to the rank of Detective Sergeant with the St. Louis Police Department.
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Jim graduated from Sumner High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1948. Thereafter, he enrolled in Tuskegee Institute. Upon graduation from Tuskegee in 1953, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. After serving a tour in Vietnam he retired in 1974, with the rank of Major. During his tour in Vietnam, he received the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service.
In 1956, Jim married the love of his life, Mildred Stewart. To this union two children were born, Ronald and Shirley. Jim and Mildred loved to take family trips and spend time with their friends they met while in the military.
After retiring, Jim went on to other careers. In management he was employed by AT&T and the City of Atlanta in the Department of Aviation.
He loved listening to jazz, playing racquetball and squash, gardening and fishing, and spending time with family. He was a long time member of Lutheran Church of the Atonement where he was active in the Men of Mission and was caretaker of the church property.
Jim touched many people with his generosity and his trademark sense of humor all the way to the end. Jim, as husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, entered into eternal rest on February 4, 2019. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 61 years, Mildred; two children, Ronald and Shirley; six grandchildren, Ronald Jr. Kristin, Kyle, Joya, Justin, and Olivia; five great-grandchildren; brother, Robert; and a host of friends and loved ones.
Celebration of Life Service will be held Monday, February 11th, 2019, 12:00 pm, at Lutheran Church of the Atonement, 1875 Joseph E. Boone Boulevard NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30314. Interment Lincoln Cemetery.
Public Viewing will be Sunday, February 10th, 2019, 10:00 am until 6:00 pm, at Herschel Thornton Mortuary, 3346 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30331.