Smokey, James J.

James J. Smokey, 79, of Winona, passed away on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at his home, with his beloved Kathy by his side.

He was born on August 17, 1942, in Winona, to John and Agnes (Podjaski) Smokey, and was a graduate of Cotter High School.  

With his first wife, Jim had two sons, and they later divorced. In 1986, he married Kathy (McGloin) Riley, and together they enjoyed over 35 years of marriage.

Jim was employed with the city of Winona Water Department as a supervisor of outside maintenance, retiring after over 30 years of service.

He will be remembered for his love of morning coffee at Hy-Vee, where he and Kathy made many valuable friendships; his afternoon rides with his dog, Charlie; how he knew every John Wayne movie verbatim; and for his love of watching NCIS, never missing an episode. Jim’s greatest joy in life was his family, and he especially cherished family vacations and get-togethers with his children and grandchildren. He will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.

Jim is lovingly survived by his wife, Kathy, of Winona; son, David (Mary) Smokey, of Madison, Wis.; step-children, Jay (Steven) Riley, of Winona, William (Chris Coulson) Riley, of Rochester, Minn., and Gillian (Tim Munyon) Ritscher, of Tony, Wis.; grandchildren, Kaitlynn Riley, Keaton Riley, Raelin Smokey, Aaryn Smokey, Jordan Smokey, Kylie Smokey, Caleb Ritscher, and Ashton Smokey; a special daughter-in-law, Debbie Smokey-Huebner, of Winona; a sister-in-law, Donna Smokey, of Winona; as well as other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his son, Allyn Smokey; parents; and a brother, Tom Smokey.

Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. until a time of remembrance at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 23, 2021, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 376 East Sarnia Street in Winona.  

Online condolences or memories may be left for Jim’s family at