Billy Lee Smothermon, Sr. of Bradford, Arkansas, has passed peacefully into eternity on Friday afternoon September 29, 2023, concluding an eventful 78 years.
Born in Niles, Michigan on July 17, 1945 to William Franklin and Barbara Alvine (Harrell) Smothermon, Billy was the first of four children to bless their household. His middle name Lee was bestowed in tribute to his late uncle Sgt. Edgar Lee Harrell, US Army Air Forces, who gave his life in the skies over Germany just three months before his young nephew was born.
After the family relocated to Clarksville, Texas in 1955, Billy attended and graduated from Clarksville High School, immediately setting to work to make good on his heroic legacy, joining the Texas Army National Guard at 17 years old and attaining the rank of Specialist Four while serving as a Company Clerk with Company D of the 117th Medical Battalion.
During the summer he turned 19, Bill met and married (August 8, 1964) his former wife and mother of his children, Patsy Joyce Parish. The couple moved their household many times over the next 51 years, living in Texas, Michigan, Florida, and Arkansas, raising three daughters and a son, following family, business, and employment opportunities until settling in Bradford in April of 1990. A fifth-generation Arkansan, this was a move back to his ancestral roots and a sense of home that he had long-desired.
A lifetime of pride in hard work and a varied career path have been two of Bill’s hallmarks. Whether it was making a living as a pipefitter, welder, machinist, plumber, maintenance mechanic, farmer, or one of the other dozen job titles he has held, or in his spare time at home working on a car or a boat motor, building a trailer from scratch with his welder, crafting things in his woodworking shop, tilling & planting a garden, tending honeybees or chickens, he always took great joy in seeing an arduous task well-done and enjoying the fruits of his labor.
His hobbies defy clear definition, as Bill had a voracious appetite for life and wanted to experience everything it had to offer, but his love of a life spent outdoors…fishing, hunting, camping, farming, boating…far surpassed all his other pastime interests. As a youth, his years as a Boy Scout were his most formative experiences, and as an adult leader he worked for several years to create meaningful, positive Scouting experiences for the youth in Bradford. Though he was an avid amateur genealogist and loved studying and retelling the past, Bill also wanted to leave a living legacy to the future.
A born-again Christian and lifelong Baptist, Bill treasured the study of the Scriptures, time spent in prayer, and sharing his faith with others. His counsel was a comfort to many of his neighbors and friends.
He is survived by three children Amy Lee (Ray) Jermana of Vancouver, B.C., Wendy Marie (Steve) Henderson of Floral, AR, and Billy Lee (Rebecca) Smothermon Jr. of North Little Rock, AR.; granddaughters Anna, Shayna, Emily, and Ava; six great-grandchildren; his siblings Teddy (Pam) Smothermon of Clarksville, TX and Tammy (Richard) Hill of Tyler, TX; close friends and extended family. He was preceded in death by his daughter Jenny Ann Woodyard in 2010, his brother Ricky Howard Smothermon in 2006, and his father and mother in 2005 and 2009, respectively.
No services are planned. Donations in his honor to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are requested.
His earthly remains will rest in the Smothermon plot of Maple Springs Cemetery, Oil Trough, Arkansas.
Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at www.anaturalstatefuneralservice.com