Billy Eudell SmithMelbourne, AR, 1928 - 2022
Billy Eudell Smith, age 94, passed away on Monday, September 6th. He was born on June 27, 1928, on the family farm in Lunenburg, Ark.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Willie Green and Lilly Shannon Smith; five brothers, Thomas T. Smith, Charlie Shannon Smith, Willie Lon Smith, Warren Glen Smith, and Ben Bailey Smith; three sisters, Lois Ruth Williams, Leona Beatrice O'Neal, and Sarah Marie Teague.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley Phillips Smith; son and family, Randell and Miriam Smith, Luke, and Isaac of Fayetteville, and son and family, Rohm and Lorrie Smith, Will, and Matthew of Rogers; twin sister, Lillie Eudene Holt of West Plains, Mo.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Eudell and his twin sister were born during the Great Depression as the ninth and tenth children of their large farm family. Eudell dutifully lived life on the farm doing all the daily jobs. As a teenager, he sold timber to get enough money to buy a car. This allowed him to go to work in Batesville at the Pepsi Cola Bottling plant. He soon realized the farm wasn't that bad.
During this time while still living on the farm, Eudell and his friends, Eulis Loggains and Howard Haley, formed a trio called the "Lonesome Valley Trio" playing at a variety of events, and even having a weekly Sunday morning radio show on KTBA in Batesville.
Eudell then moved to California with his sister and brother-in-law to work the potato harvest, coming back to Arkansas every fall and winter. While in California, he met and married Shirley Phillips on August 13, 1961. By this time, he had worked his way up to being a farm labor contractor traveling and working in Southern California, Oregon, and Arizona. While living in California, Eudell and Shirley were blessed with their two sons, Randell and Rohm.
In 1971, Eudell's father passed away and Eudell and his young family moved back to the family farm in Arkansas. While living on the farm, he and his boys raised cattle, hogs, and chickens. He also worked for his brother, Lon, in his cabinetry shop, and sold cars and mobile homes.
His greatest gift and passion was serving the Lord. He served as chairman of the Trustee Board helping build three churches in the Melbourne area. He taught adult Sunday School classes weekly, participated in sharing the Gospel with others through the local Gideon Chapter, visiting many who were sick or simply needed encouragement on a weekly basis.
History and a sense of tradition were important to him as well, and he helped champion the preservation of the Lunenburg School, which is now a Community Center.
In addition to his love for the Lord, he loved his family dearly, praying each night before bedtime for each person in his large family, leaving no niece or nephew out. Every five years, the Smith Shannon Clans held a family reunion for three-four days at the farm to visit, meet new family members and to connect to their roots of family that began many generations ago. It was here that Eudell thrived, telling countless stories of growing up during the Depression with his twin sister and tales of him and his siblings and their life experiences on the farm and beyond. It seemed that no matter how far his siblings had moved, they still had a strong family bond and their love for each other was deep. Eudell's presence and his stories will be greatly missed. However, we are thankful that he is now in the presence of the one he loved the most, Jesus.
Visitation with family will be Friday, September 9, from 6-8 p.m. at Eddie's Family Funeral Home in Melbourne, with funeral services Saturday, September 10, at 2 p.m. at the New Bethel Freewill Baptist Church, 1511 Arkansas 69 Highway, Sage, Ark. Memorials may be made to: Gideon International at www.gideons.org/donate.
Published September 9, 2022
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Eddie's Family Funeral Home
106 Conniebrook Ln, P.O. Box 979, Melbourne, AR