Charles William "Bill" Smith

Charles William "Bill" Smith passed from this earth on Dec. 18, in Odessa, Texas. He was born in Alpine, Texas on Nov. 19, 1948. He is survived by his wife, Gail Smith of Sanderson, Texas, and five children, Vanessa Brower and husband Timothy Brower and daughter Eva of Odessa, Texas, William Smith of Odessa and son William Underwood of Wink, Texas, Erin Richardson and husband Grant Richardson and children Travis and Elaine of Amarillo, Texas, Benjamin Smith of Amarillo, and Lauren Acosta and husband Ismael of Odessa. He is also survived by a sister, Shirley Rooney, and beloved nieces and nephews and their families from all over West Texas, Montana, and Maryland.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Marjorie Oatman Smith and Charles T. Smith, and his brother Tommie Smith and sisters Marjorie Lee Cowell and Charlene Veltkamp and brother-in-law Robert Veltkamp.

Bill attended Marathon schools, and later Sul Ross State University where he received a BS and Masters in Education. Music was his life-long passion, and he built pipe organs, and rebuilt and tuned pianos, pump organs, accordions, and various other musical instruments all over Texas, as well as the Midwest and southern states. Bill was an organist and piano player for many West Texas churches, including those in Sanderson, Marathon, Alpine, and Marfa, from the time he was a teenager, until just a few months before his passing. He played at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marfa, Texas for 28 years.

Bill also enjoyed photography, genealogy, model railroading, writing, and Star Trek. He was a skilled carpenter, and built cabinetry and furniture, as his father and grandfather before him. He taught school from 1990 until 2004 in the Terrell County Independent School District in Texas, and had many fine memories of beloved students and coworkers there.

In his later years, he worked at the Terrell County Visitors Center, and was curator of the Terrell County Museum, and was its website and Facebook page administrator. Bill wrote many articles for local publications including the Cenizo Journal and the Terrell County Sun. Bill loved West Texas and its rich history, flora, and fauna, and especially the beautiful sunsets. His favorite flower was the bluebonnet.

He was laid to rest on Dec. 23, 2019 at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Sanderson.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Terrell County Food Bank or the American Kidney Fund.