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Mr. William (Bill) Eugene Smith of Rose Hill, Virginia, passed away on August 8, 2019, at Turkey Creek Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, after a short illness. Bill was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 27, 1939 to Virgil and Louise (Sedberry) Smith and graduated from the United States Senate Page High School in Washington, D.C., in 1957. After serving in the United States Army 92nd Field Artillery Regiment in Germany from 1957 to 1960, Bill was a successful entrepreneur in both the insurance and hotel business. He was also very active in the political arena for several years and was nominated as the1972 Kentucky gubernatorial candidate on the American Party ticket running against Wendell Ford and A.B. "Happy" Chandler. Initially a political appointee to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Bill retired in 2014 after a successful and lengthy civil service career. He then relocated to Rose Hill, Virginia, and completed a major renovation of the home where his father, Virgil Smith, grew up and which was owned by his grandparents, William Worth Smith and Mary Bell Cawood Smith. Bill had deep roots in the Rose Hill area, as well as in the Harlan County, Kentucky, area, being related to many current and former residents in both the Smith and Cawood families. He was very active in his community and was a member of the Morgan Memorial United Methodist Church in Rose Hill, the Lee County Virginia Historical and Genealogical Society, and Sons of the American Revolution.
Bill is survived by his fiancée, Ms. Rita Brown, of Pennington Gap, Virginia; two children, Suzette Smith, of Naples, Florida, and Edmund Smith, of Huntington, West Virginia; two grandchildren, Gus and Lyle Smith, of Clarksville, Tennessee; a brother, Marion Allen Smith (Donna), of Louisville, Kentucky; a niece, Nichelle Smith, of Portland, Oregon; a nephew, Mark Smith, of Gibbon, Nebraska; and by his first cousin and partner in crime, Robert (Bob) Smith (Betty), of Harrogate, Tennessee. Bill was a friend to many, and always willing to take the time to be sociable and engage in conversation, particularly in regard to local history. He was an avid writer, having completed several genealogy and fiction books during his life, and he occasionally contributed historical writings to the local newspaper. Some of his greatest pleasures were spending time with his fiancée, Rita; spoiling the church and neighborhood children; working on his home and in his yard; and hiking his beloved mountains. The family has chosen to honor Bill’s specific instructions that there shall be no funeral service or other ceremony accompanying his burial and respectfully requests that his wishes, as unorthodox as they may seem, be respected and that those who knew and cared for him to fondly remember him.
Memorial and condolences can be sent to the family by visiting www.provincefuneralhome.com .
Province Funeral Homes are honored to be serving the family of William "Bill" Smith.