William Ray (Bill) Smith III MARION William Ray (Bill) Smith III, 79, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Bill was born in Rutherford County, Dec. 8, 1934 and was a lifelong resident of Marion. He was preceded in death by his parents William Ray Smith Jr. and Evelyn Hodge Smith. He is survived by his wife of 49 years and the love of his life, Loretta Morrison Smith; son, William Ray Smith IV and wife, Jennifer; two grandchildren, Delaney and Nicholas all of Wingate; daughter, Kim Smith Epley and husband, Scott of Shelby; and one brother, J. Matt Smith and wife, Dena of Marion. Bill was a graduate of Marion High School and Appalachian State. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army. Upon graduation from ASU he returned home to join the family business, Smith Furniture Company. Bill was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church of Marion, where he served his church in many positions. He was a member of the Marion Fire Department for more than 35 years. Bill also served on the board of directors for McDowell Hospice, Marion ABC, First Union and Wachovia. He was an active member of the Marion Rotary Club. Bill served as an adult leader of the Boy Scouts for more than 20 years and was a former Jaycee. He served as the past president of the Southern Home Furnishings Association and was awarded the distinguished Willis Award of Merit. Bill was a loving and kind man who generously devoted his time and heart to his family and as a steward of his community. He thrived on serving others and brightening their lives with random acts of kindness. One of his passions was organizing an annual Christmas party for local elementary students through the Marion Rotary Club. Receiving of friends will be held this evening (Friday, April 4), from 5 to 7 p.m., in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church, Robert Street, Marion. Funeral services will be Saturday, April 5, at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Kent Smith officiating. Interment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery. Donations may be made to First United Methodist Church 176 Robert St., Marion, NC 28752 or the Marion Fire Department, 60 West Court St., Marion, NC 28752. Westmoreland Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Words of comfort may be shared at www. westmorelandfuneral home.com.
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