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Obituary for William Sterling Smithson
William Sterling Smithson was born at the old Jackson Infirmary on President Street (now St. Dominic’s Hospital) October 30th, 1943, to Dr. William Allen Smithson and his wife, Empress Hooper Smithson, who lived then at 787 Belhaven Street, Jackson. Bill grew up at 905 Euclid Avenue in Jackson and attended John L. Power Elementary School, St. Andrew's Episcopal Elementary School, Edward L. Bailey Junior High School, and William Belton Murrah High School, Class of 1962.
He died of an apparent heart attack at his apartment in Dallas, Texas, on February 19th, 2018.
William was preceded in death by his father, 1978, mother, 1987, and brother, Robert John Smithson, 1998. Mr. Smithson is survived by his sister Empress Gayle Smithson Poole (Mrs. James Eugene Poole, Jr.) of Jackson, his brother James Allen Smithson of Madison, and four nieces: Mary Elizabeth Smithson of Nashville; Tresa Bryan Barksdale Patterson (Mrs. Eric Lee Patterson, Sr.) of Ridgeland; Meta Smithson Poole Ginn (Mrs. Micah Joseph Ginn, Sr.) of Oxford; and Dr. Anna Rose Poole Carlson (Mrs. Bengt Eric Carlson) of Chattanooga. William is survived by four great nieces: Gayle Smithson Ginn, Empress Meta (Mimi) Ginn, Mary Anna Carlson, and Tresa Poole Carlson. Also he is survived by five great nephews: Micah Joseph Ginn, Jr., Biven Barksdale Patterson, William Walter Patterson, Eric Lee Patterson, Jr., and Palmer James Carlson.
He received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi. Later he went to Officer Candidate School (Artillery) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. As a second lieutenant in the United States Army, he served at Camp Casey, Korea, not far from the DMZ, 1968 until August 1970. He married Fay Kent Wirth (now Mrs. Wayne Renardson of Nashville) in Korea, during his service there.
In 1970 William and Fay returned to USA and lived at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, until he was discharged from the Army, Christmas 1970, as a first lieutenant. They travelled in Europe in a Volkswagen camper for almost 7 months: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Greece. The two moved to Nashville after Europe trip. Bill attended the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and received an MBA in 1975. Until 1980 Bill worked for the First American Bank of Nashville as a portfolio manager and for the Tennessee Department of Banking and Insurance.
Spring of 1980 Bill moved to Dallas, Texas. He had various jobs there and always hoped he would “make it big” in the Stock Market. Longtime friend Ron Miller who worked at WRVU (Vanderbilt’s radio station in Nashville) and Bill shared in the 70’s and until February of this year a very extensive interest in Rhythm and Blues music. One of Bill’s favorite songs was “Eyesight to the Blind” by Sonny Boy Williamson, II, 1951. Bill shared this rendition on FaceBook in 2012 on recommendation by Patricia Vaughey of San Francisco, California, formerly of Jackson.
Visitation: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Parlor of First Presbyterian Church, Friday, August 17th, 2018 (1390 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi, Belhaven Street side) Graveside Service: 10:00 a.m. Lakewood Memorial Cemetery, Friday, August 17th, 2018 (6000 Clinton Boulevard, Jackson, Mississippi) The Reverend Mr. Wiley P. Lowry, III