William Bill Ricketts Smith

Photo added by The Girls

William "Bill" Ricketts Smith

  • Birth 5 Nov 1918 Gillette, Campbell County, Wyoming, USA
  • Death 25 Dec 2001 Eagle, Ada County, Idaho, USA
  • Burial Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
  • Plot CC 1875
  • Memorial ID 23644995

Bill was born near Gillette, Campbell, Wyoming, on a ranch where his father was foreman. He was the first child of Maurice Warfield Smith and Ruby Valentine Fox.

Bill married, and eventually he and his wife had two sons. At the time of Bill's death, they had thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren (one born three days before Bill died). Grandson John Jason Smith preceded him in death.

Bill spent several years in the Army during World War II. He worked most of his life for Allis-Chalmers Farm Equipment as a salesman, living in Vancouver, Washingon; Powell, Wyoming; Missoula, Montana; Walla Walla, Washington; Eugene, Oregon; and Brookings, Oregon. After retirement he and his wife moved to Redmond, Oregon, and later to Eagle, Idaho, where he died. Bill was a genius who could make or fix anything out of anything (including a gear shift out of a broom handle), cook wonderful meals, play the saxophone, pontificate on politics, and make us laugh like no one else.

Bill loved genealogy and took several trips with family around the United States to find family records and to visit family cemeteries, buying headstones for at least one of his ancestors. My family lived next door to Gran and Neenaw while we were young, and I remember seeing their dining room table spread with family group sheets and pedigree charts from the time I was about six. The genealogy bug bit me hard because of his great example and I've loved it ever since. I will always be grateful to him.

Bill's autobiography can be read here.

Gran, we miss and love you!

Obituary, the Bend Bulletin:

William Ricketts Smith
Nov. 5, 1918 — Dec. 25, 2001
William Ricketts Smith of Eagle, Idaho, died Tuesday. He was 83.
A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. today at Willamette National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Vancouver, Wash.
Mr. Smith was born Nov. 5, 1918, in Gillette, Wyo. He served in the Army during World War II in the 698th Tank Maintenance Company.
Mr. Smith worked as a district manager and sales representative for Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company. He lived in Redmond from 1990 to 1999.
He was affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served a full-time mission for the Church in Alabama in 1984.
Survivors include his wife of Eagle, Idaho; two sons; 12 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Relyea Funeral Chapel of Boise, Idaho, is in charge of arrangements.

Since Gran died on Christmas morning, this poem was included on his funeral program:

I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights like heaven's stars
Reflecting in the snow.

The sight is so spectacular
Please wipe away that tear
For I am spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
but the sound of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you
of the joy their voices bring
for it is beyond description
to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I can't tell you of the splendor
or the peace here in this place
Can you just imagine Christmas
with our Savior face to face?

I'll ask him to lift your spirit
as I tell him of your love
so then pray for one another
as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your hearts be joyful
and let your spirit sing
for I am spending Christmas in Heaven
and I'm walking with the King.

Family Members









  • Created by: The Girls
  • Added: 30 Dec 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23644995
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William "Bill" Ricketts Smith (5 Nov 1918–25 Dec 2001), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23644995, citing Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by The Girls (contributor 46912010) .