Billy Smith, a beloved husband, father, and talented musician, entered into rest on Monday, June 26, 2023, at the age of 88. He leaves behind a legacy of hard work, dedication, and love that will be cherished by all who knew him.
Billy was born on February 7, 1935, in Soperton, GA, and spent his formative years in his hometown until the age of 16. At that time, he relocated to Macon, Georgia, where he embarked on his first job as a letter courier for Western Union. He later worked as a Metal Fabricator for Webster Iron Works. A defining moment in Billy's early life came when he was drafted into the Army at the tender age of 22. During his four years of service, he was stationed in Germany, where he served as a military policeman. His time in the military saw him rise to the rank of Sergeant, demonstrating his commitment and dedication to his country. It was during his military service that he learned and excelled at marksmanship and weaponry. A skill he taught at the Armory in Macon.
In 1959, Billy began working at Robins Air Force Base as a civil service warehouse worker, where he had a life-changing encounter. It was there that he met his beloved wife, Catherine Smith, and the two were joined in marriage in 1964. Billy's entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own business, Smith Iron Works, alongside managing a farm and raising cattle on the adjacent land. Although he left Robins Air Force Base for a period, he returned in 1978 as a civil service machinist and certified welder. He continued his service there until his well-deserved retirement in 1995. Even after retiring, Billy remained active and engaged, spending another decade as a driver for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Music held a special place in Billy's heart, particularly country western music. He nurtured his passion by starting his own band, known as Billy Smith and the Starliners. As a self-taught and talented musician, he showcased his skills on weekends at popular venues such as the American Legion. However, what Billy loved most was playing and singing with his four children. At family reunions, everyone knew to bring their instruments, because all the family would play and sing together, with Billy at the center of it all. An outdoorsman, he loved hunting and fishing, especially bird hunting with his bird dogs. He also loved bingo, beekeeping, and the Atlanta Braves.
A member of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Byron, Georgia, Billy was known for his Christian faith. He was always willing to share the love of Christ with those he encountered. In order to deepen his relationship with Christ, he developed the habit of praying and reading through the entire Bible annually.
Billy was preceded in death by his parents, George Dewey Smith and Beulah Mae Smith, his wife Catherine Wynelle Smith, five brothers, three sisters, and son in law Larry Adams. His memory will forever be treasured by his children: George Zackery Smith (Mary) of Byron, Sharon Smith Adams of Byron, Timothy Dewey Smith of Byron, and William Braddy Smith (Dorothy) of Byron. He also leaves behind his cherished grandchildren: Timothy Duane Smith, Lawrence Paul Adams III (Hailey), Gary Dean Adams, Cody Harris, and Eric Price; as well as his great-granddaughter, Juliet Pearl Childree. Billy is survived by his sisters, Jackie Ballard (Larry) and Jewel Allen, who will hold his memory dear in their hearts.
The family will receive friends for visitation on Friday, June 30, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at McCullough Funeral Home. A funeral service honoring Billy's life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at Shady Grove Baptist Church in Byron, Georgia. Following the service, Billy will be laid to rest in the peaceful surroundings of Glen Haven Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made in memory of Billy Smith to the Alzheimer's Association at 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601.
Go to www.mcculloughfh.com to sign the Online Registry for the family. McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Billy Smith, please visit our flower store.
Friday, June 30, 2023
6:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
McCullough Funeral Home