When the Season 10 of Ax Men premiered, fans noticed that one of the show’s stars didn’t look like himself. Jim Smith, of S&S Logging, looked a lot thinner and had gone white.
It turns out that the logger suffered from a terminal illness, cystic fibrosis. This disease affects the lungs, pancreas, and kidneys. Despite being diagnosed with the disease, the young logger refused to quit working and continued her hard work on the show. She is also using her fame to raise CF awareness.
During the episode, Jim looked tired and had lost a lot of weight. He also had very little hair left on his head. His appearance was alarming and sparked many speculations on the internet.
While some people thought that he had died in a logging accident, it turns out that the logger wasn’t killed in any way. According to sources, he succumbed to heart attack at the age of 38. He had a wife and three children.
The company that he owned, S&S Aqua Logging, recovered sunken old-growth logs from rivers and floats them downstream to their destination. The father-son team specialized in underwater logging. He was a resident of South Cle Elum, Washington. His funeral was held on November 17 at Leavenworth. The service was attended by family, friends, and other guests. The company he owned, Rygaard Logging Inc, is still in business. He appeared in 22 episodes of the show before his death.