William C. “Bill” Smith of Kansas City, Missouri, died on May 18, 2017. He was a Professor Emeritus of the UMKC School of Education.
Bill was born on November 16, 1931 to Charles H. Smith and Katherine Elaine (Hall) Smith. After graduating from Atchison High School, Bill attended and graduated from St. Benedict’s College, Atchison, KS in 1953. He then pursued a Master’s Degree in Education at Kansas State University where he met and married the love of his life and wife of 63 years, Joyce A. Davis Smith. Bill received his PhD in Education from UMKC in 1963 and thereafter joined the faculty, retiring in 1997.
Beginning at age 14, Bill apprenticed to his father as a bricklayer, eventually achieving journeyman status. He worked as a bricklayer during school vacations for many years to support his education. He loved telling stories of the many buildings he worked on in Northeast Kansas, the St. Joseph Missouri area, and Fall River Nebraska.
Bill credited his education at St. Benedict’s (now Benedictine University), particularly coursework in the Social Encyclicals with forming the values by which he lived his life and the models which he used to develop his teaching style. He loved teaching and would take any opportunity to share his knowledge with others. In addition to teaching at UMKC, he taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and numerous in-service and continuing education programs for teachers and one year as the math teacher for his son’s sixth grade class.
He had many and varied interests including a fascination with airplanes, trains, ships, birds, gardening, music, history, Bible study, genealogy, and life-long learning. He was a voracious reader until eyesight problems deprived him of this pleasure. He and Joyce travelled widely throughout the West, to all of the 50 states, Canada, Mexico and much of Europe. The trip he talked about most was the trip up the coast of Norway on local ferries that he and Joyce took for their 40th wedding anniversary. An early love was photography and one of his scholarships to St. Benedict’s was as a photographer. His pictures were published in school publications and in the Atchison Daily Globe. He was a gifted singer and participated in mixed chorus from high school though college and in community chorus.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and by his two older sisters, Jeanne M. Kelly and Katherine E. Smith. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joyce A. Smith, and three children, Stephanie M. Smith of Prairie Village, Kansas, Cheryl I. Smith (Stephen Cox) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Lawrence W. Smith (Katherine B. Smith) of Haltom City, Texas, and three grandchildren, Isaiah Smith Andrews, Alexander L. Smith and Nicole Bowman Smith.
Joyce and Bill have lived the last five years at Kingswood Senior Living Community. The family thanks the staff for their care to Bill especially during the last several years and to Catholic Community Hospice. Further thanks to Funeral Advocates, LLC in assisting in arrangements.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, May 26, 2017 at St. Ann Catholic Church 7231 Mission Rd. Prairie Village, KS 66208 The Rosary will begin at 10:00, immediately followed by a visitation until 11:00 when the funeral Mass will be celebrated. Immediately following there will be a luncheon in the Parish Hall where the family will continue the visitation.