Jimmie Ray Smokey Estes, 79, of Medford, Ore., passed away Tuesday, January 21, 2014 in Medford.
He was born in Bartlesville, Okla. in 1935 to the late Leonard and LaVerne Askew Estes. After graduation from College High School in Bartlesville, he served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years. His ship was the USS Hornet where his assignment was welding which led to his lifelong nickname of Smokey.
He was an outstanding bluegrass, country swing, old time rock & roll and blues fiddler and played professionally most of his life, entertaining audiences in Oklahoma, California, Canada and Oregon. His latest band was Smokey and Friends and they made wonderful music together.
On December 21, 1965 he married his loving and devoted wife, Mary Hood Estes.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Daniel Estes. Surviving family include his wife, Mary; his children, Elizabeth Mattix and husband Dan of Ramona, Okla.; Paul Estes and wife Darla of Norman, Okla.; Sylvia Lancaster and husband Chris of Bartlesville, Okla.; sister, Joy Estes Bourquin and husband Jack of Rolla, Mo.; brother-in-law, Roy Hood and wife Olga of Weed, Calif.; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews along with other family members. He will also be missed by many friends and fellow musicians.
Gravesides services for Smokey will be held Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the Winema Cemetery in Weed, Calif.
Arrangements are by Rogue Valley Funeral Alternatives of Medford and Mt. Shasta Memorial Chapel.