William (Bill) Dean Smith

April 12, 2019

William (Bill) Dean Smith of Valrico, Florida – a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend went home to be with the Lord on March 29, 2019, at the age of 67.

Bill was born in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, on October 24, 1951, to the late Alva Maria (Shaw) and Donald Smith of Farwell, Michigan.  Bill and his loving wife of over 47 years, Debra (Rodabaugh), lived most of their lives in Farwell, Michigan, until they moved to Valrico, Florida, upon retirement to escape the snow and enjoy the beach.   

Bill retired from Dow Corning Corporation in Midland, Michigan, where he worked for over 35 years.  He honorably served in the Army National Guard for more than 20 years, and later enjoyed his “retirement job” at Camping World.  While his children were growing up, Bill would often be seen serving in church or at Farwell schools.  He also coached little league and rocket football until he became the Farwell High School sports announcer, Variety Show announcer, and later a football referee and track & field starter.  Later in life, as his beard grew white, he proudly donned a Santa Clause suit to provide gifts and joy to children less fortunate.        

Bill loved blessing all those around him with his gift of music as he would sing or play his guitar upon request.  Arguably one of the world’s biggest Detroit Tigers fans, he rarely missed watching a game.  Above all else, Bill loved spending time with his wife whether they were traveling, working, remodeling a house, shopping, walking on the beach, walking their two Yorkies (Bella and Toby), or spending time with their children and grandchildren. 

He leaves his loving wife and best friend, Deb; son, Tony Smith and his wife Karen of Plant City; son, Tim Smith and his wife Arielle of Tampa; and daughter, Angela Fortier and her husband Greg of Madison, Alabama; and his grandchildren, Alison, Regan, Grace, Faith, Abbie and Zack. He is also survived by his brother, Dale Smith (Sonja); sisters, Linda Gaymer (Jon) and Kay Smith; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A Celebration of Life was held in Brandon, Florida, on April 2nd, and a Celebration of Life is being planned for the summer in Farwell, Michigan.

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2 Responses to William (Bill) Dean Smith

  1. Tim Smith Reply

    April 12, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    From ArielleandTim Smith – Hi, I’d really appreciate it if you would share and donate to my GoFundMe campaign, Bill Smith’s Remembrance.


    This has been put in place to help the family out while trying to get everything together. Bill was very young still, so his passing was VERY unexpected. We thank you for taking the time to read this, donate, and pass on. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: William (Bill) Dean Smith | The Clare County Review - American Digest

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