William (Bill) Leland Smith, born on October 30, 1932, in Miller, Kansas, to Ira and Helen Smith, passed away on January 15, 2019, at his home in Kansas City, Missouri. He was 86 years old.
Bill graduated from high school in Miller, Kansas, where he met the love of his life, the woman who would always be telling him where his turn was after he had already driven past it, Ruth Arlene Hanlin. The two married on December 12, 1953, and were together for 65 happy years. When Arlene passed away last month, Bill said simply, "we had a good life," and then everyone cried because it was beautiful and true. Before marrying Arlene, Bill served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War. He graduated from Emporia State College with a degree in business. From then on, Bill lived a life of leisure, golfing, fishing, and watching sports (his wife really was a saint). Upon occasion, he could be counted on to take his kids to their sporting events, where he would shout inscrutable advice from the stands like, "bow your neck!" Bill's favorite sports were Kansas basketball and anything his grandkids were playing. He was generous, funny, loving, and a pretty good singer.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene, and his brother, Alvin Noel Smith. He is survived by his sister, Wanda Paxton, three adorable (his eye sight was never good) and exceptionally talented children, Tony (Jill) Smith, Kim (Rob) Rader, and Tim (Donna) Smith, four grandkids, two great grandkids, and a motley crew of nieces and nephews. Rock Chalk.