William “Bill“ Buchanan Smith, 89, of Stilwell Oklahoma, passed away at home with his family at his side on February 20, 2021.
Bill was born on March 25, 1931 in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Jesse C. Smith and Laura E. (McCullough) Smith. He grew up on the family farm south of Tama, Iowa and graduated from Tama High School in 1949. He worked as a farm hand and carpenter until he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1951. He was stationed in Kadena, Okinawa where his B29 bomber crew flew 29 missions during the Korean War. During the war, Bill earned the Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, United Nations Medal, Korean Service Medal, Sigma Rea Unit Citation Medal with 1 Cluster and Air Crew Member Wings. He returned to Iowa and married Donna Mae Polka on December 12, 1952. The couple briefly lived in Shreveport, Louisiana, while Bill finished his enlistment in the Air Force. The couple settled on a farm in Southeast Marshall County where they raised their five children and Bill farmed with his brother, Roger.
In 1981, the couple relocated to the Stillwell Oklahoma, area where Bill was the manager of Stilwell Feed until his retirement.
Bill trusted Christ as his Savior in 1959 after the faithful witness of a country pastor who also was his farmhand. Bill was always active in Bible-believing local churches during his adult life serving several times as a trustee, deacon, and church elder. At the time of his death he was a member of Rocky Mountain Bible Church.
Bill was a hard worker and loved his wife and family, he enjoyed ranching and gardening and spending time with his grandchildren. Bill was very social always drinking coffee around town and playing cards with his friends. He was quick-witted and always loved a good argument. Donna was the love of his life and he could barely go on after her passing, but we all enjoyed these final years with him.
Bill is survived by his five children: Deb (Bob) West of Ames, Iowa, Becky (John) Reger, of Ames, Iowa, John (LeighAnn) Smith of Katy, Texas, Tom (Karen) Smith of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Beth (Dallas) Essary of Stillwell, Oklahoma. His brother, Roger (Betty) Smith of Toledo, IA. and his brother and sister-in-law Arnold and Betty Chantland of Ames, Iowa, 17 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Donna, his parents, and his younger brother Robert.
The family held a private graveside service at Stillwell City Cemetery. We ask that in lieu of flowers donations should be directed to Stilwell Foundation.
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