Cover photo for William F. "Bill"  Smith's Obituary
William F. "Bill"  Smith Profile Photo
1929 William 2021

William F. "Bill" Smith

February 7, 1929 — August 19, 2021

William F. “Bill” Smith, 92, passed away on August 19, 2021. He was born in Fond du Lac on February 7, 1929, to James and Marie (Cody) Smith. Bill spent his entire life on the land that he was raised on in Eden. In 1943, as a young teen, he quit St. Mary Springs Academy and enlisted in the US Navy serving in World War II. In February of 1945 Bill was sent to the South West Pacific theatre serving until November of 1945. After the war, he returned to his hometown of Eden. While a lifeguard at Lake DeNeveu he met his wife to be Shirley Giebel. They were married on October 16, 1954. Shirley preceded him in death on October 19, 2008.



Together, Bill and Shirley started Smith Mink Ranch and Smith Gas Station. In 1987, they closed the mink ranch and continued to render cattle. Bill worked hard until he was 85 years old. He had an unbeatable work ethic



Bill was a very good musician, playing in several entertainment bands over the years. He was an exceptional drummer and mastered the bass violin and taught himself how to play the trumpet. When Bill came home from the service, he learned how to fly airplanes, holding his commercial pilot certificate. He was a lifetime member of the EAA. Bill really enjoyed flying his Beechcraft Baron, which he often flew to the family cabin near Minocqua. He was a life member of Fond du Lac Elks Lodge #57. Bill enjoyed hunting and fishing. At the age of 67, he started downhill skiing again. It became his passion until the end of his life. Bill competed in NASTAR Alpine races all over the U.S. winning several medals in his age category. He was never the pretty skier, but he was the fastest. Bill’s final ski run was made at 90 years old at Indianhead in Michigan, on a trip with many of his skiing friends from the Sly Fox and Galendesprung Ski Clubs; whom he had so many wonderful memories with, on the many ski trips around the world he took with them.



If there is one thing to be said from his life is this: Bill was born during the depression a poor farm kid, who willingly, as a child, went to serve his country in a foreign land for the country he loved and daily flew a flag until the day he died. He came back a poor kid with only a 9th grade education and worked hard for what he had and with little knowledge of business. No matter what happened in life, he never gave up. Bill never complained; not about money, pain, or being tired. He just kept going with an enthusiasm for life and living. At 87 years old Bill said, “I want to go back to work, I’m bored.” There’s a lot to be learned from that kind of perseverance and a love of life in good times and bad.



Survivors include his three children, Jo Ann Simons of Grafton, Wis., Bill Smith of Eden, and Nancy Smith of Fond du Lac; four grandchildren, Rhonda (Harold) Pleuss, Billy (Tracy) Smith, Marisa Smith (Joe Crofts), and Allison (Jimmy) Gleason; five great-grandchildren, Colin and Macenna Crofts, and Greta, Estella, and Sienna Pleuss; and a step-great-grandson, Forrest Ahner. He is further survived by his sister, Mary Ellen (Robert) Ash of Aptos, California.; and many nieces and nephews in California and Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; a brother, Jim Smith; an infant brother; great-granddaughter, Hope Bauer; a son-in-law, Jim Simons; two sisters-in-law, Adele (Arthur) Rock and Evelyn (Henry) Stephany; a brother-in-law, Karl “Bud” (Mary) Giebel; and Shirley’s parents, Karl, and Louise Giebel.

Visitation will be held from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Saturday, August 28, 2021, at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home. A time of sharing will begin at 2:00 PM followed by burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Eden. Military Funeral Honors will be rendered by the U.S. Navy and American Legion – Trier Puddy Post 75.



The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of Edenbrook of Fond du Lac, especially, Shawn, Alyssa, Jean, and Kai who provided such wonderful care during Bill’s final months, as well as the staff of Heartland Hospice.



Services are in the care of Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 North Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935. Additional information and guestbook can be found at ueckerwitt.com

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, August 28, 2021

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Burial

St. Mary's Cemetery

, Eden, WI 53019

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