William F. 'Bill' Smith

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Cooper Landing resident William F. "Bill" Smith died Friday, May 12, 2000, from Lou Gehrig's disease at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 71.

A mass of the resurrection will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Cooper Landing. Archbishop Francis T. Hurley will officiate. A visitation and rosary will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the church. Burial will be in the Cooper Landing Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be William M. Smith, Shawn Smith, Jack Harris, Terry Kincaid, Ronald Bowerman, Glenn Forbes, Kerry Marshall and Charlie Cash. Honorary pallbearers will be Stephan Smith, Keith Freeman, Robert Harris and Charles Cash II.

Mr. Smith was born Dec. 22, 1928, at Deadwood, S. D. He graduated from Belle Fourche High School and attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He moved to Alaska in 1967. He lived in Anchorage where he worked for Automotive Parts, Equipment, and Exploration Supply.

Mr. Smith lived in Anchorage for 18 years before moving to Cooper Landing. He also worked at the Spring Creek Correctional Facility in Seward. He retired from Spring Creek in 1997 and became the owner and operator of The Hutch B&B in Cooper Landing.

Mr. Smith was a cantor of St. John Neumann Mission Catholic Church in Cooper Landing and St. Patrick's Parish in Anchorage. By special invitation to the Alaska Catholic Choir, he visited Rome to sing for the Pope in 1982. His hobbies and special interests included mechanical things, carpentry, fishing, hunting, horses, camping with his family and living life to the fullest. He also enjoyed being with his children and grandchildren.

"'Bill' or "Tall" was a loving husband and wonderful father. He was well liked, admired and loved by many. He was always eager to help others and possessed the rare quality of patience. He was a wealth of knowledge in many fields and always willing to help others, earning him the respect of everyone he came into contact with. He was a person with a very rare breed of character. He was a man who measured his riches in life by the help he was able to extend to those around him. To all the lives that he has touched, he will be greatly missed. His strength and courage through his battle with ALS will sustain his children through the difficult times," his family said.

Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his wife Mary (Pat) Smith and his son Rodney Smith.

He is survived by daughters and sons-in-law, Christine and Charles Cash and Teresa and Ron Bowerman of Anchorage, Bridget and Terry Kincaid of Cooper Landing, Deborah and Kerry Marshall of Wasilla, Stephanie and Glenn Forbes of Cooper Landing; sons and daughter-in-law Billy and Diccene Smith of South Dakota, Stephan Smith of Anchorage and Shawn Smith of Cooper Landing. He also is survived by grandchildren Kristy, Justin, Charles, RJ, Kylie, Tina, Sean, Melissa, Renee, Jennifer, Dustin, Erik, Meghan, Terry, Kimberly, Heather, Kristopher, Amanda, Sasha, Kirstin and Caitlin; and great-grandchildren Kristin, Tyler, Shelby, Kestin and Gracin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Mr. Smith's family, P.O. Box 823, Cooper Landing, AK 99572. The family will then forward them to the ALS Foundation.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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