James “Jim” Thomas Key, 76, of Benton passed away Feb. 24, 2014. He was born Nov. 13, 1937, in Carthage, Tenn., to the late Tommy and Lovie (Bennett) Key.
Jim proudly served his country in the U.S. Army, receiving numerous decorations, medals and honors including the National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal 2D OLC, Vietnam Service Medal with four campaign stars, Bronze Star Medal 1st OLC, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, four overseas service bars, Good Conduct Medal (six times), Meritorious Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. He retired with the rank of sergeant major.
Jim loved all types of sports. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren play football, basketball, baseball, golf, dance and cheer. He was a Tennessee Volunteers fan.
Following retirement, Jim enjoyed spending time golfing. Most importantly, he loved his family unconditionally.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Charlie Key.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Eula (Hunt) Key of Benton; a son, Jeffery Key and wife Lois of Hendersonville, Tenn.; three daughters, Renee Ray and husband Christopher of Maumelle, Tina Gute and husband Dave of El Paso, Texas, and Melissa Key of Benton; 11 grandchildren, David Ray, Kristy Schreiner, Justin Ray, Kirby Grissom, Amanda Ray, Lauren Gute, Ashley Ray, Jordan Tompkins, Kevin Key, Leo Gute, and Monica Tompkins; two great-grandchildren, three sisters, Linda Bryant, Betty Estes and husband Pete, and Carol Underhill and husband Norman; a brother, Billy Joe Key; and many other family members and friends who loved him and will miss him always.
Funeral service will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Smith Family Funeral Home, 322 N. Market St. in Benton. Burial will follow at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.
Visitation is set from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at Smith Family Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
For more information, call 501-778-7100.
Online guestbook: www.SmithFamilyCares.com .