William Bryant "Bill" Smith, formerly of Springdale and Butterfield Trail Village, died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008, at the Veteran's Victory House in Walterboro, S.C.
He was born March 26, 1920, in Bellville, Texas, to Jennie Linde and Frederick Smith. Growing up, he was always known for his superb athletic abilities, thus leading to his first career. While a senior in high school he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals to play on one of their minor professional teams. He began his baseball career with the Houston Oilers upon graduation and played from 1938-1941 before entering the Army during World War II. During the war he served as a medical corpsman stationed in England.
After the war, he returned to the baseball and was even scouted for the major leagues. Unfortunately, his pitching arm was too weak, and thus, he continued his minor league career while living in Houston. He finally left baseball and worked for many years for Signal Oil and Gas. In 1964 he moved his family to Springdale where he mainly worked for Southern Electric Co. until retirement. In 2007 he moved to Beaufort, S.C., to live with his daughter due to medical problems. His last days were spent at the Veteran's Victory House.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Stanley Smith, who was killed during the war.
He is survived by a son, Bill Smith of Springdale; a daughter, Vicky Sloan of Beaufort, S.C.; and a grandson, Drew Sloan of Cambridge, Mass.
As a person, Bill never met a stranger and had a smile on his face for all. He was a caring father and grandfather and is deeply missed by both family and friends.
A celebration of life memorial for him is set for 3 p.m. April 4 at the First Presbyterian Church in Springdale.