William Thomas Smith

Published 8:41 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2015

William Thomas “Billy” Smith, born Oct. 21,1935, in Rocky Hock, Chowan County, N.C., passed away Aug. 11, 2015. He grew up and lived in the Holland area of Nansemond County (now Suffolk) from 1939 until 1961. A 1953 graduate of Holland High School, Billy served in the Virginia Army National Guard ’54 to ’61; farmed from 1952 to 1962, was a sales/service representative for Dixie Guano Company from 1963 to 1965, was a sales/service representative for Ferguson Manufacturing Company from 1965 to 1971, was a sales/service representative for Kelley Manufacturing Company, Tifton, Ga., from 1971 to 1998, and retired as Northeast USA & Caribbean Sales Manager for Kelley Manufacturing Company.

Billy was a pioneer in the ’70s and ’80s for the practice of under the row sub soiling in the Southeast USA and Mid Atlantic area, a tillage practice still being used today. He designed, marketed and serviced several different versions of farm implements for field crops as well as special implements for East Coast vegetable growers and the Caribbean.

He was a past member of Holland Baptist Church, Holland, a past member of Hunterdale Christian Church, Franklin, and a current member of Bethlehem Christian Church, Suffolk. He was a past member and treasurer of the Bethlehem Ruritan Club and the Carolinas Equipment Dealer’s Association.

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Billy played tenor banjo and rhythm guitar with the Lowlanders/Prison Crew Wanchese, N.C., and for a short time played rhythm guitar with John Baggett and The Harbor Lights.

Billy was predeceased by his father, Lewis Carl Smith Sr.; his mother, Lucille “Lady” Byrum Smith; and a sister, Doris Jean Smith. He was a grandson of William Lloyd Sr. and Susie Bass Smith, of Rocky Hock in Chowan County, N.C., and James Thomas and Sarah Jane Daniels Byrum, of Corapeake, Gates County, N.C.

Billy is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jean Stancell Smith; two daughters, Janet Carole Smith Whitfield (J.D.), Chesapeake, Jo Anne Smith White, Belvidere, N.C.; and a son, Thomas Ray Smith (Shelly), of Suffolk; grandchildren, Joseph Britton Whitfield, Meagan Jeanette Whitfield, Courtney Smith Waugh, Victoria Jean “Tori” White, Brianna Page “Bri” White, Camryn Grace Smith, Logan Thomas Smith; step-granddaughter, Myranda Waugh; and two very special close friends, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, E. Wayne and Cathy P. Stancell, of Suffolk; sisters, Betty Louise Smith Thompson (Bill), Los Alamitos, Calif., Sally Sue Smith Glover (Danny), Suffolk; brothers, Bobby Byrum Smith (Judy), Suffolk, and Lewis C. Smith Jr., of Roanoke.

Parr Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family. The family will receive friends other times at the residence. A funeral service will be held Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Bethlehem Christian Church with the Rev. Matt Winters, the Rev. Wayne Gardner, Norman March and Lafayette Wilkins officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Rocky Hock Ruritan Relay for Life and/or the Bethlehem Christian Church Food Pantry. Condolences may be registered online at www.parrfuneralhome.com.