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William Smith, 76 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
    Thief River Falls - William “Willie” Smith, 76, formerly of Grygla, died on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012 at Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls, surrounded by his loving family.
    Funeral services were held Friday, Aug. 31, at Grace Lutheran Church in Grygla, with Rev. Robert Dahlen officiating. Casket bearers included Todd Stanley, Trent Stanley, Brian Stanley, Clarence Smith, Wes Smith and David Rein. Honorary casket bearers included Willie and Irene’s 11 grandchildren: Shawn, Nichole, Eric, Tiffany, Bryan, Travis, Philip, Amy, Bethany, Dominick and Gabriel. Interment was held at Our Saviors Cemetery, rural Grygla.
    William Arthur Smith was born on May 8, 1936 on the family farm northeast of Fourtown, the son of Tom and Hazel (Pappa) Smith. At the age of 3, Willie contracted polio. He spent some time in the Gillette Children’s Hospital in the Twin Cities, where he did his recovery; but was left with paralysis on his right side.  
    He attended country grade school and graduated from Goodridge High School in 1954.  Following high school, Willie attended the business college in Grand Forks, N.D., and earned a degree in accounting. He worked for one year in the Twin Cities and then returned to live in the Grygla area. Willie worked for various farmers around the area; mostly for Arnold and Todd Stanley. He did income tax work for over 50 years during the tax season for many area clients. Willie also worked for Allstate Paving for a number of years.
    On Dec. 15, 1973, Willie was united in marriage to Irene Hermanson at Our Saviors Lutheran Church east of Grygla. They made their home near Fourtown for a few years and then purchased land in Valle Township, near Grygla where they made their home.  Because of Willie’s failing health, in June of 2012 they moved to Thief River Falls.
    Willie enjoyed hunting with his brother-in-law and special best friend, Cleteus Rein.  He also enjoyed gardening, flowers, and ice fishing in the winter-time with Irene and the grandchildren. He was baptized and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church in 1984 by Rev. Percy Smerek and then became a member of Grace Lutheran Church.  
    Survivors include his loving wife of 38 years, Irene of Thief River Falls; four step-children, Pamela (Ralph) Smith of Grygla, Paulette (Richard) Dougherty of Thief River Falls, Timothy (Linda) Hermanson of Rush City and Kurt (Lenay) Hermanson of Thief River Falls; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; siblings, Bernice Askeland of Simms, Mont., Ida Stanley of Grygla, Eleanor (Kenny) Carlson of White Bear Lake, Roger Smith of Grygla, Duane (Bettye) Smith of Kimball, Neb., Dean Smith of Forest Lake, Ralph (Pamela) Smith of Grygla, Kaye (Shorty) Wilkens of Grygla, Donna Smith of Roseau; brother-in-law, Cleteus Rein of St. Paul; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
    He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Helen Rein, Marlene Schramske, Ronald Smith and a baby brother in infancy; brothers-in-law, Selmer Askeland and Arnold Stanley; nephew, Jeff Stanley; and nieces, Kathianne Smith and Julie Ann Rein.
    Family condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.