Longtime Ardmore pastor Rev. Billy Dewayne Smith, passed from life to Life Everlasting, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, at his Ardmore residence surrounded by his loving family.
Billy Dewayne Smith was born at Deming, N.M., Sept. 9, 1930, to Joseph Alonzo and Ethel Tabitha (Lasley) Smith, the 11th child and seventh son of their family of 12 children. In 1931, the family moved to Ardmore. He began school at Mary Niblack in 1936. The following year the family moved back to Deming, living there for about three years and then returned to Ardmore. Billy finished grade school at Mary Niblack and then began high school at Dickson High in 1946.
Billy proudly served in the U. S. Army, enlisting July 19, 1949, and serving during the Korean War. He was stationed in Germany for 15 1/2 months and was honorably discharged Dec. 3, 1952, at Fort Chaffee, Ark., with the rank of Corporal. He was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 30.
Returning to Ardmore he married the love of his life, Wanda Mae Berry, Nov. 7, 1954. He and Wanda had a collaborative and caring relationship. It was based on mutual support and a deep love for each other. Married for over 51 years, Wanda passed away July 23, 2006.
It was in 1958, that Brother Billy gave his life to God and followed that call the rest of his life. The first time he preached was June 15, 1958. Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” In 1962, he became pastor of the Faith Tabernacle Pentecostal Church of God and was instrumental in founding and construction of several other churches. Reverend Billy D. Smith was a person of faith and lived life serving others.
During his life Brother Billy had worked in the oil fields, was a pipe fitter and worked for some 30 years at Ardmore Plumbing Supply.
In addition to his parents and wife, Brother Billy was preceded in death by two daughters, Angel Mae Smith in 1961, and Linda Kay Studeman in 1983; grandsons, Robby Ritter, Jr., Dustin Chance and James Gunsolus; 11 brothers and sisters.
Survivors include three daughters, Patsy Hawkins, Cindy Bryson and her husband, H.L. (Melvin), Sherry Gibson and her husband, William (Bucky); 14 grandchildren, Bobby, Billy, Christie, Penny, Sommer, Angela, Brandon, Ashley, Brenda, Randy, Darla, Ashley, Kaycie and Jacob; 50 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; a host of extended family and friends.
Rev. Leo Potts will officiate at the Celebration of Life services at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in the Centennial Chapel of Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home and Crematory. Burial with military honors will follow at the Newport Cemetery, with the assistance of Bobby Studeman, Billy Studeman, Randy Bryson, Brandon James, Daniel John and Johnny Baker, serving as pallbearers. Honorary bearers include Tony Jones and Jimmy Swader.
A time of visitation and support for family and friends will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent online at www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.