There were a lot of familiar faces in the premiere episode of Ax Men Season 6, but one long-time cast member didn’t look like himself at all. S&S Logging’s Jimmy Smith appeared to have lost at least 50 lbs. and his graying dark hair had turned almost completely white. It didn’t take the show long to give an explanation for Jimmy’s transformation: he was fighting cancer.
Although Jimmy wasn’t on camera much, he seemed to have a lot of fight left in him. He was too weak to go out logging on his pontoon boat, Logzilla, but he found plenty of energy to tell James exactly what he wanted him to do, how he wanted him to do it, and not to forget who was in charge. Rather than telling James he was now captain of the ship, the best Jimmy could do was call him “second captain,” whatever that means.
The show seems to be setting up the storyline of S&S this season to be James’s struggle to establish himself as captain with Jimmy doing as much as he can on shore to undermine his authority. But, there’s another story that the show has not yet mentioned, and it is a much sadder one. On November 1, Jimmy Smith lost his battle with cancer. He died in Wenatchee, Washington and was commemorated at a memorial service in Leavenworth, WA on November 17th. He was 56 years old.
Here is Ax Men‘s Jimmy Smith’s obituary from The Seattle Times:
James Frank “Jimmy” Smith, (Ax Men), 56, a resident of Cle Elum and a former resident of Leavenworth and North Bend, died Thursday November 01, 2012 at Wenatchee.
Jimmy was born on May 03, 1956 to James H. and Leah (Wilson) Smith at Leavenworth. Jimmy spent his early life in Leavenworth and later North Bend where he attended school. He enlisted in the United States Army and after being discharged he returned to North Bend and married Sandra Jackson; Jimmy moved to Farmington, Washington and attended Big Bend Community College. He later moved back to North Bend and later to Cle Elum where he worked as a carpenter until starting S&S Aqua Logging with son James L. Smith. Jimmy was very proud of the fact that for the last five years they were featured on the History Channels TV series “Ax Men”.
Jimmy loved hunting, fishing, his dogs, his family and “Ax Men” Logging. He was an avid outdoorsman and was well prepared for the future.
He is survived by his mother, Leah Smith (Ken Buzard) of Wenatchee; his sons, Chad Smith of Seattle and James Smith of Michigan; brother, rob Smith of Leavenworth and sisters, Sylvia Adams-Lance (Mark), Gloria Smith-Williams both of Leavenworth and Rebecca Forsyth (Brian) of Everett; his good friends who helped take care of him, Ken Morgan, Tim Skagen, Scott Burke and Larry Wade and many aunts, uncles nieces, nephews and cousins. Jimmy was preceded in death by his father, James H. Smith; daughter, Katherine Marie Smith and his grand parents, Dud and Viola Wilson and R.R. and Bessie Smith.
A Memorial service of Com-memoration to celebrate the life of James Frank “Jimmy” Smith will be held on Saturday November 17, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. View Cemetery on Icicle Road in Leavenworth. Visitation will be held on November 12th and 13th at Ward’s Funeral Chapel, 303 Pine Street, Leavenworth from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made in Jimmy’s name to “Our House” Cancer Care of North Central Washington at 1708 Castle Rock Street, Wenatchee, WA. 98801 or your local Humane Society.
Ward’s Funeral Chapel, Leavenworth is in charge of the arrangements
And a statement about Jimmy Smith’s passing from History Channel:
November 2, 2012: We are extremely saddened to report that our friend and beloved member of the Ax Men family, Jimmy Smith, passed away yesterday. All of us at HISTORY and Original Productions, along with our Ax Men team, would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Jimmy. From the first day we met Jimmy, we knew America needed to experience this truly one of a kind character. He will be deeply missed by us all. Please join us in sending your thoughts and prayers to Jimmy’s son, James, and the rest of his family.
Jimmy Smith was born on May 3, 1956, and passed away on November 1, 2012.
Location: Northern Florida
Jimmy and James Smith have been through thick and thin in their five seasons of underwater logging. They’ve battled alligators, snakes, the competition, and often each other. With Jimmy ill, it’s on son James to step up as the new captain of Logzilla, but with tough competition in the Dreadknots, pulling out a victory will be harder than ever.
We send out our sincere condolences to the Smith family and especially to James. RIP Jimmy.