William Henry Smith 96, of North Fort Myers, FL and Belchertown, MA (formerly of Rowley, MA) passed away peacefully on December 28, 2019. He was born in Rowley Massachusetts on August 11, 1923. His is predeceased by his parents Henry Smith and Florence Kneeland.
Bill married his best friend and loving wife Beth (Smith) Fuller on September 12, 1943 in Ipswich MA and shared over 71 years of marriage. Both Bill and Beth were graduates of Ipswich High School. Bill was a WWII Veteran proudly serving in the Merchant Marines.
Bill was an avid sports enthusiast his entire life. He excelled in baseball and football at Ipswich High School and was inducted into the IHS Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also a longtime member of the Rowley Rams baseball team and played for the team during the 1938 Championship season. He was inducted into the Intertown Twilight League Baseball Hall of Fame. Bowling was a favorite pastime and for many years Bill was a member of the Rowley Men’s and Couples leagues. He also was an avid fisherman who enjoyed the sport with family and friends in the estuaries of Plum Island Sound and Ipswich Bay. Bill was also an ardent Patriots and Red Sox fan even from afar.
In his younger years Bill was a clam digger extraordinaire who with his wife Beth built a successful seafood business, Smith Seafoods, in Rowley with extended operations from Maine to Maryland. Bill was a lifelong learner who embraced new technologies and instilled a passion for life in all members of his family. He closely followed all his children’s and grandchildren’s many activities and accomplishments until his final days.
Bill and Beth enjoyed retirement and friendship at Six Lakes Country Club in North Fort Myers, FL. His greatest passions there were golfing and playing pool where he achieved numerous Tournament Championships and Holes in One. He enjoyed coming North every summer to visit family and friends.
In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his sister Pauline DiLeo and his loving wife Beth. He is survived by his sons William “Butch” and his wife Diane, Robert and his wife Charlene, his daughters Jody McLeod and her husband Virgil, and Beth Terry. He has six grandchildren, Michael, Jennifer, Christine, Sam, Briana, and Jeremy, eight great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. Services will be private followed by burial in the Rowley Cemetery.
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