William Smith, 85 - July 23, 2008
William M. “Bill” Smith, 85, of Sun Lakes, AZ, formerly of Brady area, died Friday, July 18, 2008, at his home.
A private family service was held at the Sun Lakes Chapel on Monday, July 21, with the Rev. Paul Warf officiating. His body was donated to the Biological Resource Center.
Smith was born on Jan. 27, 1923, at York, PA, to Glenda (Marshall) and Horace Smith. He grew up in Pennsylvania and moved with his family to California as a teenager.
He later enlisted in the Army Air Corps, serving four years as a navigator on B-17’s and B-29’s, reaching the rank of captain.
While stationed at the air base in Kearney, he met his wife, Vera. The couple were married on March 4, 1946. He was separated from the military in 1946, and later began his career in education.
Smith received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he was active in student government and chancellor of his fraternity.
His first teaching position was in Valentine. He also participated in graduate work at the University of Wyoming in Laramie and, in 1953, began teaching chemistry and physics at Grand Island Senior High School until his retirement in 1986.
He dedicated his life’s work to the field of education and earned a master of science degree from the University of Arizona in 1967. He continued his education by taking numerous courses in science and technology. Smith shared his love of learning by teaching various college courses and participating in continuing education activities.
A particular interest of his was his love of flying, which he shared with others by his many years of instructing ground school classes, according to family members.
?Smith also enjoyed woodworking, designing and creating jewelry, building model airplanes, rock hounding and collecting stamps, said family members.
?His many accomplishments included building the family home in Grand Island and a cabin and future home at Jeffrey Reservoir at Brady. Family was a priority to him and he was interested in the lives of his children and grandchildren, offering support and advice, according to family members.
Smith had a deep appreciation of the outdoors and enjoyed hiking with his wife to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, fishing in numerous lakes including those in Canada, and hunting deer, water fowl and upland game and grouse at Halsey, especially enjoying the camaraderie of his friends, family and his many Labradors, said family members.
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Horace and Glenda; a brother, Jim Smith.
Survivors include: his wife, Vera of Sun Lakes; a son, Curt (Marilyn) Smith of Bismarck, ND; two daughters—Terry (Mike) McVay of Gothenburg and Lynn (Carroll) Brown of Saint Libory; two sisters—Nancy Loomis of Cottonwood, AZ, and Joan Puthuff of Las Vegas, NV; a brother, Ted Smith of Saint George, UT; 10 grandchildren—Christopher, Michael, Andrew and Joseph Smith, Hattie, Scott and Laurie McVay, Evan, Carolyn and Aaron Brown; 13 great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Scholarship Foundation at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.