Services for Billy "Bill" Raymond Smoot Sr., 80, of Tyler, will be on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. at Stewart Family Funeral Home with the Rev. Pike Wisner officiating.
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Burial will follow in Rose Lawn Cemetery in Tyler under direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.
Bill passed away peacefully on the morning of July 29, 2014, at Emeritus Senior Living, surrounded by all four of his children. He was 80 years old and had been living with Alzheimer's for some time. Billy Raymond Smoot was born on Jan. 20, 1934, in Fort Worth to Raymond McGee and Ruth Wilkins Smoot. He was the first born of four children and was predeceased by his sister, Betty Miller; and brother, Jim Smoot. He is survived by his brother, Bob Smoot; and children, Billy Smoot Jr., Stephen Smoot, David Smoot and Laura Neal. He was the proud and loving grandfather to Alex, Caroline, Emily, Noah, Bridget and Jamie.
Bill was the son of a Baptist preacher, who was also an Army chaplain. This meant that the family moved quite a bit. While Bill didn't have fond memories of having to move around so much, it turned him into a person who never met a stranger. He was very easy to talk to and confide in. Many of his lifelong friends were neighbors. He loved to do for others and frequently put other's needs before his own. During retirement, he started a hobby of baking dozens of loaves of cinnamon bread at a time, which he shared with family and friends.
Bill was a firm believer in education and truly cared for children. He earned his Ph.D. in education from The University of Texas at Austin. From 1968 to 1973, Bill taught at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in the area of curriculum and instruction. But his primary love was public education. He spent most of his career as either a school teacher or school administrator. From 1988 to 1991, he was the principal at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler. He then served Tyler ISD through his job in Central Administration.
Bill had a very strong work ethic and his retirement didn't slow him down a bit. He had an intense interest in genealogy and did years and years of research tracing his ancestry back to 1596. He was always the family photographer and videographer. In his retirement years, he would make multiple copies of all the pictures he took, write detailed descriptions on the back and share them with the family. He took great pride in his yard and could be seen outside mowing, raking and working in the flower beds most days.
Visitation is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, at Stewart Family Funeral Home, 7525 Old Jacksonville Highway, in Tyler.
Bill will be greatly missed by family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County, 211 Winchester Drive, Tyler, 75701; or PATH, 402 W. Front St., Tyler, 75702.
Stewart Family Funeral Home - Tyler
7525 Old Jacksonville Highway
Tyler, TX 75703
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Aug. 1, 2014