Bill Manford Smith was born June 25, 1925 in Crookston, Minnesota, the 4th of 5 children to Clyde and Olga Smith. An outdoorsman from the start, he learned to fish and hunt early in life. He kept active playing football, hockey, basketball, and baseball. He was proud to have been a batboy for the Crookston Pirates, the local semipro baseball team.
Before his 17th birthday he enlisted in the Navy and served as a radioman, transmitting and receiving messages by radio in Morse code, and was stationed in Honolulu during WWII.
Upon his return he met and married Beulah Stromstad in 1949. Not long after they married, they moved to Seattle where Bill was employed at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. He later found employment closer to home as an electrician at Boeing. Eventually he returned to school, and graduated from Seattle University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1963. He retired from Boeing after 37 years in 1988.
Bill spent much of his free time hunting and fishing. An avid bird hunter, he was active in and helped found the Burien chapter of Ducks Unlimited, a wetlands preservation society. He loved the sport of salmon fishing and spent many years skippering his small fishing boat out of Ilwaco, Westport, and in the waters of Puget Sound. He always enjoyed sports and attended as many Sonics, Mariners, and his own kids’ and grandkids’ games as possible. If he wasn’t at a game, he was probably watching one on TV, always tuned to a sports channel.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife Beulah, son Brad Smith (Yvonne), daughter Lori Erickson (Robert), and grandchildren Brian Erickson, Kelly Erickson, James Morrison, and Annie Morrison.
A memorial celebration of Bill’s life will be held Saturday, May 4, 2013 at St. Paul’s of Shorewood Lutheran Church, 11620 21st Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98146 at 11am.
Memorials to Children’s Hospital of Seattle or St. Paul’s of Shorewood Lutheran Church.