|Birth: ||Jun. 4, 1926|
|Death: ||Jul. 14, 2010|
Wilford Lee Smith was born June 4, 1926, in Cleveland, Oklahoma. He was the son of Archie Lee Smith and Lillian (Edmisten) Smith. Wilford, also known as Bill, was raised and attended school in Cleveland, graduating from Cleveland High School in 1944. Shortly after graduation, on June 12, 1944, Wilford was inducted into the service of our country in the United States Navy. He served as a Fireman Third Class Petty Officer aboard (the) USS Barataria (AVP-33), a Barnegat-class seaplane tender, after completion of his basic training in San Diego (California) in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He was awarded the following decoration and citation for providing repair, maintenance, operation and employment of armament aboard AVP-33: World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one service star, Philippine Liberation's Campaign Ribbon with one service star and the American Campaign Medal. Upon his honorable discharge on February 9, 1946, Wilford returned to Cleveland.
After completion of his military duty, Wilford attended Oklahoma State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in the College of Business. He later accepted employment with Stanley Tool Works, later Stanley Bostich where he worked as a salesman in California, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma over a career spanning twenty-five years. At one time, he served as the Mayor of Cleveland for several years. Wilford was married to Lee K. Kirkpatrick on June 15, 1968, in Wilmington, Delaware. The couple made their initial home in Cleveland and later relocated to Oklahoma City. Lee preceded him in death on August 7, 1983.
He married Norma Ownbey on December 15, 1990. She was formerly Norma House of Cleveland, and they were childhood friends. After initially residing in Oklahoma City, the couple relocated to Grand Lake where they had a wonderful life together. Wilford was a member of the Church of the Servant in Oklahoma city at the time of his death and had been a faithful member of the Methodist Church his entire life. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner. The Lord will welcome him home as he was a very kind, generous person and gave of this time and love to his family throughout his life. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, especially his family and close friends.
Wilford is survived by his wife Norma Smith of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; three step-sons and their spouses, Joe and Gayla Ownbey of Plano, Texas, Fletcher and Jama Ownbey of Yukon, Oklahoma and Pat and Kathy Ownbey of Ardmore, Oklahoma; six grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. In addition to his first wife, Wilford was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Donna Gayle McCullough.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 pm., Saturday, July 17, 2010, at the Chapman-Black Funeral Home, with Fletcher Ownbey officiating. Friends may share a memory with the family at the funeral home or online at www.chapman-black.com. Viewing and visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the service at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Transcribed by Sheri (Ownbey) McNary
Current photo taken by Joe Ownbey, Ownbey Photography, McKinney, TX
Created by: Sheri (Ownbey) McNary
Record added: Aug 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 55713830