George William “Billy” Smelley Sr.

Published 3:17 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

George William “Billy” Smelley Sr., 86, of Greensboro, passed away Sunday, July 6 at home from natural causes.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9 at First United Methodist Church of Greensboro with Dr. Nathan Elliott officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes of Demopolis directing. Visitation will precede the service at 1 p.m.

Billy was preceded in death by his parents, Grover Cleveland Smelley and Beulah Mae Smelley; a brother, Grover Smelley Jr.; and four sisters, Hazel Jones, Azalee Martin, Dorothy Liphim and Ruth Gant. He loved and missed his family very much.

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He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Katherine Hinson Smelley; his children, Virginia “Giny” Knudsen and George W. (Julie) Smelley Jr.; six grandchildren, Kati (Caleb) Cook, Clyde Baumgartner, Luke (Lana) Smelley, Sara K. (Dusty) Goodwin, Anna (Kevin) Breen and Jacob (Jill) Smelley. Billy is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, each of whom he loved dearly.

Billy and Katherine were long time members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Talladega, where Billy served many years in the leadership of the church. After moving to Greensboro, they began worshiping at First United Methodist Church of Greensboro where they eventually moved their membership.

Billy was a self-employed farmer in both Talladega and Greensboro. For 30 years he served as a supervisor of the Soil and Water Conservation District of Talladega County and as a director with Federal Land Bank.

He also served as president of the Talladega County division of the Alabama Farmers Federation for several years. In addition, Billy was elected as first runner up for Outstanding Young Farmer of Alabama and was president of the Talladega County Cattleman’s Association. He proudly served his country in the United States Army during both World War II and the Korean War.

Much of Billy’s life was spent as a farmer. When his illness made it too difficult to work, his caretakers would drive him around the farm so he could see how things were going. He loved to feel he was still a part of it.

Billy lived a full and blessed life. He was a devoted Christian and a loving son, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He celebrated life and lived life to the fullest.

He loved his wife, his family, his church, and his many friends. He will truly be missed.

Pallbearers will be Clyde Baumgartner, Luke Smelley, Jacob Smelley, Dusty Goodwin, Kevin Breen, Cal Johnson, Bill Hopewell, David Hopewell and Tom Howard.

Honorary Pallbearers are the employees of Smelley Farms, LLC, Alacare Home Health and Hospice, caregivers Gladys Thomas, Joseph Thomas and Geneva Miller, and the Excelsior Sunday School Class of First United Methodist Church of Greensboro.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to First United Church of Greensboro, Alacare Home Health and Hospice, or the charity of your choice.