Ax Men’s Jimmy Smith lost his battle with cancer on November 1

Ax Men's Jimmy Smith of S and S Logging

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.

Jimmy Smith Ax Men S&S Aqua Logging James Frank Smith James Smith

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.

Jimmy Smith Ax Men James Frank Smith S&S Aqua Logging James Smith

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.

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  • alexstorm

    gosh how sad

  • AXmenRules

    The show sure will not be the same without him.. Thanks for all the laughs an you will be greatly missed! RIP

  • Ax Men #1

    Ax Men will not be the same without Jimmy. He will be sadly missed. Regards to all of his family. R.I.P. Jimmy. Truly one of a kind.

  • rickeyb

    Just caught the first 2 epiosdes for this year, stunned was my reaction and saddness. Cantankerous as he was we tuned in to see him. My Mother was also taken by Cancer and given 6 months to live, brings back too many memories..
    The best to his family, life is short , I also lost my father at 52 and a sister at 1 years old.. I know Jimmy’s pain
    be strong

  • Dorothy

    RIP Jimmy u will be missed by so many. <3

  • Davis Hill


  • Watcher

    He was SUCH AN ASS.

  • Watcher

    HE. WAS. AN. ASS!!!

  • Easter shore realist

    So i must agree that in most times jimmy had a hard way of getting things done and getting along with others, i also see a man who loved his son and had a great deal of drive. He always had the outlook that today was the day and hes going to find that big money log.

    Now for the people calling him a ass. Well they most likely the same person stuck at a dead end job with a boss sick of them giving 10%. So they dont like anyone with fortitude and ambition. So somehow i doubt they can say anything on here that anyone cares about.

    James. Your dad gave you a opportunity to carry on with his dream. I pray his.fighting will carrys onto you and we will see you in season 7 doing better than ever. Our prayers are with you and god bless everyone in the family. Rip ol man.

  • Axe man

    Watcher your such an ass you ass crack rip jimmy

  • Diana Cuningham

    I seen the show today 1/12/2013 for the first time in a while. I was so surprised to see how Jimmy had transformed. I knew exactly what was taken place but I had no idea it had already happened. I am so sorry for your loss to the Smith family. I lost my husband the very same way almost 6 years ago now. I feel sad.. God Bless..

    Sincerely Diana Cunningham Arlington Wa

  • hpd

    Man when i saw him this season i thought omg. theres no way he will make it, jus like the Teaxns fighting back against the Patriots today.. no way

  • jjfw2

    RIP Jimmy Smith, truly one of a kind, will miss you,show isn’t and will not be the same, keep an eye out for James, again miss and RIP.

  • jjfw2

    Shows are never the same when they loose original’s. Never. Whether liked or disliked, RIP Jimmy.

  • The custodian

    Jimmy Smith, loved watching you, you were the man. RIP.

  • There was nothing like watching the dysfunctional morons on the Ax holes show. Between the Rygards, the Smiths and a few others on this show everyone on the planet now knows what a useless human looks like and how to recognize them. The History Channel fails to spend much time showing the good loggers or the good people in the industry. They spend all of their time on that two year old Rygard throwing a temper tantrum or his dad doing the same.

    It is hard to have any respect for people who do nothing but treat others like dirt all of the time. I can say for sure if anyone would have acted like those morons on the landing they would have had a pickaroon stuck between their eyes and a peavey up their rear end. Damn, where did they find these losers.

    Maybe I was lucky and worked for the some of the best people and companies on the planet because at no time have I ever seen this kind of BS on a landing. No one would have tolerated it period. Everyone has problems at times, but they were handled in a professional manner in private and never by yelling and throwing things like a little baby.

    This must be why these people are shown on the TV show because no one on the earth could run a successful company with behavior like this and few people I know would tolerate it without instantly quitting or retaliating in kind. I hope it is all acting and I’m the one full of crap.

    It is sad to see someone like Jim pass away under such horrific circumstances as cancer with all the fighting going on all of the time. May his family find comfort and Jim RIP.

    • Jimmy RIP

      Screw you buddy…using Jimmies death notice as your silly soapbox. Who really cares that you’re the only true logger out there (boring) we want the guy like Jimmy and his son the people like the average Joe not Mr Super TreeMan. You sound so uptight, loosen your A$$ Cheeks a bit and enjoy life its just to short! RIP Jimmy!!

  • Greg

    Well its sad I don’t think the show will ever be the same without Jimmy, RIP Jimmy and James I will keep watching from Michigan keep your head up you can do it !

  • onelessasshole

    I have nothing nice to say , I’m sure his son will be fine . Now .

  • disqust101

    Well, maybe James might stand a chance in life to act as his own man. Jimmy was a bully and never stood up for his own son. The man deserves no praise.

    • sniperman 17

      You sir are what the Hopi Indians would call…a f**king a**hole. How can you judge a man and his realationship with his son based on what u watch on a television show. You truely are an ignorant idiot. I pray that some day you get arrested and put in prison for many years where u get raped and beaten on a daily basis. What a freaking jerk.

      • Ed Sloan

        kind of lost ur way while wishing prison and raping on a person cuz u felt he wronged some1 else. all in all sir, you are a hypocrit

      • BrettHD

        Never fails, when the word “pray” is mentioned in comment it’s guaranteed to be followed by an idiotic rant

        • loonsrunningthecuckoosnest


      • Bucman

        If Jimmy Did that on TV imagine what He did behind closed doors… he was a bully to his son… Spider ass

      • spoony

        I totally agree!!! what a scumbag!!

    • Archie

      whoop whoop James yr a f xxx in dumb ass prick u can’t pull yr prick let alone a log yr old man waz right yr shit AAAHHH

  • Chris

    James, We are sooo sooo sorry to hear about the passing of your father. My husband and I have watched the show since the beginning and was saddened to see how your father’s cancer changed his appearance but thankfully, not his spirit. He was a tough old boy and tough on you, but it was evident that he really loved you. You are more intelligent and resourceful than you know. We hope to see you coming into your own and really commanding your Logzilla on future episodes.

    • swilly

      The show is staged, like the time James didn’t lock the boat trailer to the hitch and there just happened to be a camera watching the trailer hitch until it came off the ball and crashed, wow I was really suprised.

  • good job James

    I’m so glad James punch that 1 punk out !! he deserved more than he got. keep putting James down, and I hope he does something bad to you next time you bullies! good job James. I wish I was there to help you.

  • Epicurus

    Hey Dent not one person on this gives a shit about your irrelevant story let alone life…your a sore loser because you weren’t on t.v.. So you have now ou have a right to spew out all your negative shit on here..fuck that you sperm guzzling scum. I can care less what they acted like on the show. Were all human beings but you..

    • Georjetset

      Dear Epicurus,
      Well, your comment certainly reflects your poor to mediocre education level. Also…”guzzling sperm” is subjective. If someone likes it so what! They aren’t hurting anyone unlike Jimmy who was verbally abusing his own son.

  • Damn cancer. How could anyone look that bad at age 56?

  • mark

    Rip Jimmy good luck James and may God be with your family during this hard time

  • jey

    soory about the loss .we never missed the show r.i.p jimmy the show wont be the same

  • AxmenFan13

    RIP Jimmy!! Very Sad! James, I hope you mature and run his company like it needs to be ran. Jimmy was passionate about his company and god bless him for it! … as dysfunctional as he might seem, I think the man had a heck of a plan in his head! God bless you sir! Im sure your spirit lives on waterlogging!

  • Aj Jackson

    Rip jimmy u was a warroir and will be missed

  • Marc

    Just learned of Jimmy’s passing & I am very sad to find out!! Jimmy will be sadly missed by me & I’m sure by the entire Axe Men show & viewing audience. May GOD BLESS you Jimmy & take you into his peaceful arms.

  • carole smith

    Sometimes the daddy who is such a hard a&& is the one who teaches the best life lessons to his sons. I am sure Jimmy was very well loved, and will be missed by many.

  • its true the show wont be the same without him he was so funny and made the show …RIP

  • Kenny Hickerson

    I know how bad it can be I am 51 and and lost a mother to cancer and now I have dropped 24 lbs and have been told I may have it somewhere in my body . I do not want to go out like my mom or the great logger did.

  • Georjetset

    “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.” Are you joking? I certainly won’t miss his constant cussing & negative attitude towards his own son!! I bet James won’t miss him, either. I had a father who was verbally abusive, and I hope it didn’t do any permanent damage. I hope James will get some counseling, and just know that his father had issues that had nothing to do with him, and that he is loved.

  • spaceracerx

    Glad to see u go jimmy you and all like u

  • arizcars

    So sorry about your dad James . I know you and Swilly got into it ,i but they were there for you and your dad, They are your true friends they all pulled together for you , Forget about what happened in the past, and you guys all work together as The new S&S Aqua logging !!

  • Germany

    R.I.P Jimmy

  • Rebecca Ash

    Greatly missed! R.I.P. Jimmy

  • Yourfan

    James Smith son of Jimmy Smith, we miss you on Ax Men. Get back to the show and show what you can do.

  • Edwyn Starr

    Please ! He abused his son from the word go. Treated him like $hit and no wonder the son had emotional problems. Maybe he was a great logger or hunter but he $ucked as a father. Call it has it was.

  • frank


  • SmokeStack Lightning

    So………….was this the guy who was taken to court over collecting disability compensation from the State of Washington while he was filmed doing things he wasn’t supposed to be able to physically do?
    Guess besides being a fraud, he wasn’t too bright either, heh?

  • Mary Nelson

    Didn’t your mother teach you not to talk badly about the Dead dumbass