Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

William "Bill" Elmer Smith, 92, Bridge City

William "Bill" Elmer Smith, beloved husband, father, grandpa, and great-grandpa, dedicated veteran, esteemed community member, and successful entrepreneur, passed away on Sunday, May 28, 2023. His loss is deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He leaves behind a legacy of love, service, and remarkable achievements that will be cherished forever.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 2, 2023, at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. Officiating will be Reverend Brandon Hansen. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Wilton Cemetery in Wilton, Arkansas.

Visitation will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City.

Born on August 11, 1930 in Wilton, Arkansas, William was destined for a life of purpose and impact. In 1952, he embarked on a lifelong journey with his beloved wife, Betty Ruth Smith, whom he cherished and adored. Their union was a testament to the enduring power of love, as they shared over 57 years of unwavering commitment and devotion until Betty's passing in 2009.

William served his country with honor and distinction during the Korean War Conflict. From 1948 to 1951, he valiantly stood alongside his comrades along the Pusan Perimeter, displaying courage and bravery in the face of adversity. William was very proud of time he served defending our country, and shared his many stories with anyone he met.

Throughout his life, William was an active and engaged member of his community.

He was a lifelong member of St. Paul's Methodist Church.

William had many contributions to the Bridge City area, and was recognized in 2013 as the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for his exceptional service.  As a lifelong ambassador of the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce, William actively supported and promoted local businesses and economic growth. His long-standing membership was a testament to his unwavering commitment to the betterment of the community he loved.

William dedicated 33 years of his life to the KCS Railroad where he was a locomotive engineer which was his dream job, retiring in 1989.

For 42 years, William was an esteemed member of the Bridge City-Orangefield Rotary Club, where he received numerous awards and accolades for his outstanding contributions. His dedication to the club's mission of service above self was unwavering, and his impact on the community through Rotary initiatives was immeasurable. He looked forward with eagerness to his Thursday lunch meetings with his fellow rotarians.

Additionally, he was a respected member of the Mason 1345, embodying the Masonic values of brotherhood, morality, and charity. He was also in the El Mina Shriners.

Bill Smith also served as a Council member on the Bridge City City Council for a number of years.

In 1975, Bill embarked on a new entrepreneurial venture, establishing Central Office Supply, which has since become COS Printing. Together with his wife Betty and their children, they built a successful business that has, and still serves the community for decades. Their dedication and hard work have left an enduring imprint on the local business landscape.

William also owned and operated Bridge City's local newspaper, The Penny Record for several years.

Bill Smith will be remembered for his warm smile, kind heart, and unwavering love for his family, friends, and community. His legacy of love, service, and dedication will continue to inspire all those who had the privilege of knowing him.

William is preceded in death by his parents Vance and Callie Smith, brothers Donald Gene Smith, Levan Smith and Jimmy Smith and one sister Hazel Smith Fowler.

William is survived by his two sisters, Geraldine Smith Shelby of Texarkana, and Lynda Smith Cox; husband Eddie of Ft Worth, two loving children Bruce Smith; wife Renee Parker Smith of Orange, Carolyn Andrus; husband Thomas Andrus of Orange, three grandchildren, Jeremy Smith; wife Holly Obenhaus Smith, Justin Smith and Eric Andrus; wife Caitlin Andrus all of Orange. Four great grandchildren Cooper Smith, Jada Smith, Walker Smith and Diana Andrus, and a host of relatives and friends who will forever cherish his memory. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered.

You're with your Creator now. May his soul rest in eternal peace.


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