William C. ‘Bill’ Smith, 83

Published 2:28pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Born: August 19, 1929

Died: March 11, 2013

BUCHANAN — William C. ‘Bill’ Smith, 83, of Buchanan, departed this world to go racing in heaven on Monday, March 11, 2013. He was born August 19, 1929 in Sulpher Rock, Ark., to Clarence and Elsie Smith.


He was a US Army Korean War veteran and a member of the Buchanan American Legion. On Oct. 24, 1953, Bill married Marilyn Jean (Staley) Smith, who survives. Bill always had the “Need for Speed” which he fulfilled by racing sprint cars and super-modifieds from the time he received his driver’s license (and probably before) until the mid-1970s. He gained the name “Mr. Cigar” since he always had a cigar clenched between his teeth, even while he was racing. He raced at tracks across the Midwest including Playland Park, Berlin Speedway, Hartford Motor Speedway, South Bend, New Paris, Plymouth, Eldora, Ohio and Oswego, N.Y. winning many races and championships, as well as being inducted into the Michiana Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Bill also loved to race and ride snowmobiles.  Bill and Marilyn enjoyed traveling with friends on their motorcycle across the country including up Pikes Pike and through the Blue Ridge Parkway. In 1991 he retired from Indiana & Michigan Electric Company after 43 years of service.  Bill is also survived by a daughter, Judy (Thomas) Lukasiewicz of South Bend, Ind., and one brother, Lanny Smith of McDonald, Tenn. Preceding him in death are his parents; one brother, Robert Smith; and one sister, Earnestine Schaap. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 14, 2013 in Hoven Funeral Home, Inc. of Buchanan.  Visitation will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13 also in the funeral home.  Burial will take place in Riverside Cemetery in Dowagiac, MI. Memorial donation ns can be made to the Berrien County Animal Control Shelter or to the Buchanan American Legion.

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