James J. Smet, age 85, of Fond du Lac, was brought home by our Lord after a long battle of Parkinson’s Disease. Jim joined the United States Air Force and served his country all over the world for 20 years. Returning home, he was employed by the City of Fond du Lac Parks Department for 20 years.
Jim met Sandra Faber at the restaurant she worked at. When Jim came in, he always looked for Sandra. He asked her out over 32 years ago and the rest is history. They were married at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Woodhull on August 22, 1991. Together they enjoyed many family gatherings, especially the Smet siblings’ monthly breakfast. Their favorite place to go was Door County. They attended several Packer games, garden walks, and they gardened together in their yard. 13 years ago, Jim made history in the Green Thumb Garden Club by being the first man to join. Jim was a lifetime member of the Holy Family Parish, Knights of Columbus Council #664, and American Legion Abler-Engler Post #454.
Jim loved building benches and birdhouses for their yard. After retiring, Jim took up woodcarving at the Senior Center. His Parkinson’s caused Jim to stop carving. Jim and Sandra’s cats were a joy. He relished holding and playing with them.
During Packer games Jim had his favorite Packer shirt and cap on, and they were supposed to help them win. If you come to the service, please wear your favorite Packer apparel. That will make him smile.
Sandra and Jim had the best neighbors, Dale Zorn and the Robbins family, especially Brandi. She is like a daughter to us. When Sandra called on them for help, they were always there.
Sandra and Jim would like to express thanks to the wonderful care he received from the Home Instead staff, especially Rita Gardipee. She cared for him from her heart for the last year. Sandra and Rita worked together trying to keep Jim as healthy as possible.
Survivors include his wife, Sandra (Faber) Smet; five siblings, Eugene (Marilyn) Smet of Saukville, Michael (Linda) Smet of St. Peter, Mary Ann Salter and Joe (Joan) Smet of Fond du Lac, Dr. Irma (Casey) Smet of Green Bay. He will be missed by his many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Roland Smet and Katherine (Schneider) Guptaitus; step-mother, Hildegard Smet-Neubauer; brothers, Tony Guptaitus and Richard Smet; sister, Joan Marcelja.
Visitation will take place on Saturday, November 26, 2022, from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM at Sacred Heart Church-Holy Family, 200 S. Peters Ave, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow the visitation on Saturday at the church at 11:00 AM. Cremation has taken place. Military graveside honors will follow the service at church. Private family burial will take place at a later date at Calvary Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to the American Legion Abler-Engler Post #454 or to the Green Thumb Garden Club.
Services are in the care of Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 North Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935. Additional information and guestbook can be found at ueckerwitt.com