November 29, 1949 – September 17, 2021
William Wayne Smith was born November 29, 1949, in San Antonio, Texas. His parents were Chief Master Sergeant William Whistler Smith and, wife, Helen Juanita Smith originally of Del Rio, Texas. His father was a career Non-Commissioned officer in the United States Air Force. His grandfather also served in the military and after his discharge back to Del Rio, he was the Sheriff of Val Verde County for many years.
Known as Billy in his growing years, he was active in track and baseball in school and after graduating from Jefferson High School, San Antonio, in 1969, he enrolled in Texas A & M University. While at Texas A & M, he joined the Corps of Cadets and committed to enlistment in the United States Air Force as an Officer upon graduation. While completing the rigors of the Corps, he graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Business Degree and was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. After training, Billy became an instructor pilot at Shepherd Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, TX. He trained U.S. and foreign nationals in piloting T37 and T38 aircraft and was highly respected by his students and piers. After several years as an instructor, he chose to expand his experience by transferring to cargo aircraft and became a C141 Starlifter pilot. Upon completing First-Pilot/Aircraft Commander School at Altus AFB, OK. He met his wife and soul mate of 44 years, Evalyn. She, too, was in the U.S. Air Force serving as an Air Cargo Specialist at Myrtle Beach AFB, SC. Now known as Willie, he was a Captain stationed at Norton AFB in San Bernardino, CA.
Willie left the Air Force in 1981 and later moved back to San Antonio with Evalyn. Their lives changed forever when a friend witnessed to them and both accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Evalyn, now an RN, gave birth to their first son, Michael. In 1989 Willie returned to school and enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Program and UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, and soon after they had their second son, Nathan. Willie graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1992 and began working as an OT.
Willie settled in Kingsport, Tennessee in 1996 and retired in 2013. The family years were filled with church, music (Willie played guitar, keyboard, and sax at church), watching the boys play sports, and academic competitions, motorcycles, boats, camping, traveling and art. He never sat still for long, and was always discovering new hobbies from gardening to making instruments. Most importantly, Willie never wasted a moment of life, and took every opportunity to share the Word of Jesus Christ with others. As his sons will tell you, one of his favorite verses he always tried to instill in them Col. 3: 23. He proudly watched his son’s graduate high school and begin their own lives and careers. Michael is a Federal Police Officer and an active member of the Air National Guard as a Security Forces Weapons Instructor. Nathan graduated from Northeast State with an Associate of Science in Theater Arts and is currently living in Florida with his wife of 4 years, Kara. Nathan is enrolled in University in a Digital Design Program.
Willie passed away on September 17, 2021, while on vacation in Idaho, after a short battle with the complications of COVID.
He was preceded in death by parents, William Whistler Smith and Helen Juanita Smith; sister, Johnny Elaine Aldrich and husband Chipper.
Willie is survived by his wife, Evalyn; sons, Michael and Nathan and his wife Kara; sister, Lisa of Gloucester, Massachusetts; nephew, Jeff and his wife, Amy, of Ohio; and many dear friends from across the United States.
A graveside will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at Mountain Home National Cemetery with Dr. Vic Young officiating. Military Rites will be conducted by The American Legion Posts 3/265.
Please visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an online condolence for the Smith family.