Man drowns at family’s shipbuilding business|[7/23/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 25, 2005

Jinx Peterson Smith, a lifelong Warren County resident described as selfless, died Friday while doing underwater work at his family’s business at the Vicksburg harbor.

Smith, 37, was working on a boat in a dock of the business, Big River Shipbuilders Inc., 404 Port Terminal Circle, when he did not resurface as expected on a dive without gear, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

Two co-workers of Smith’s, his twin brother, J.O. Smith III, and Aubrey Graves, put on diving gear and recovered Smith about 10 minutes after he went down, Pace said.

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Pace said CPR was begun immediately, but, Coroner John Thomason said, Smith died before reaching River Region Medical Center, at 1:08 p.m.

An autopsy was to be performed, but authorities were doubtful it would be complete Friday. No foul play was suspected, Pace said.

Survivors include his wife, Lyn Luckett Smith; three children, Jinx Peterson Smith Jr., 14, Christopher Stanton Smith, 12, and Patricia Stafford Smith, 5; two brothers, J.O. Smith III and Patrick Smith; one sister, Lela Smith Flowers; and his parents, Petesy Smith and J.O. Smith Jr.

“He never met anybody he didn’t like,” Petesy Smith said of Jinx Smith. “His word was his bond. His family was everything.

“He was always doing for other people. If there was something to be done he didn’t wait to be asked. He just eased in and did it and then walked away and didn’t want anybody to know about it.”

Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Church of the Holy Trinity, 900 South St. Burial will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday and from 930 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Monday in the church’s McInnis Parish House.

Smith had recently received an engineering award for work he helped do on a structure in the Atchafalaya River, Petesy Smith said.

Jinx Smith had a habit of touching lives quietly, so that even many of those he helped never knew who was helping them, Petesy Smith said.

“He was somebody, if there was something that had to be done that nobody wanted to do, he’d go do it,” she said.

Riles Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.