William M. Smith
1922 ~ 2013
William M. (Bill) Smith (age 91) passed away on December 5, 2013 at St. Luke's Hospital in Meridian, Idaho, after a short illness.
Bill was born October 17, 1922 in Moscow, Idaho. His parents were Earl B. and Pearl M. Smith. Early in his childhood the family moved to Boise. During his elementary school years he was to meet his future wife, Joyce E. Shroyer.
In school, Bill excelled in music, both trumpet and vocals. In addition to music, Bill developed a keen interest Amateur Radio. These interests would remain throughout his life. Bill's preferred mode of communication was Morse code. His first FCC amateur radio license (W7GHT) was issued in 1937 and signed by President Herbert Hoover - a fact in which Bill took great pride. Bill graduated from Boise High School in 1940 and entered the College of Idaho.
During World War II, Bill received a commission into the U.S. Army OSS. Because of his proficiency with the Morse code, he was stationed in England and France to provide communications between Allied forces and the Free French. After the war, Bill returned to U of I College of Law, earning his degree 1952. Bill then returned to Boise to practice law and work for the Idaho Tax Commission.
Bill married Joyce Shroyer in 1959. Bill was active in civic activities in Boise including singing with the Boise Gleeman and playing with the Boise City band. Bill was also active in Boise's Masonic Lodge and the Miss Idaho Pageants.
In 1972 Bill was appointed as Magistrate Trial Court Administrator for Idaho's 2nd Judicial District. During his 15 years on the bench, Bill and Joyce made their home in Craigmont, Idaho. He retired in 1987 and returned to Boise in 1997 to be closer to family.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Joyce E. Shroyer, his brother, Gene C. Smith, and one son-in-law Dr. Theodore E. Keats. Survivors include daughters Becki Elliott (Michael) of Eagle, Idaho, Patt Hart Keats of Charlottesville, Virginia, and Kaaren Smith (Shikiah) Kaylor of Redmond, OR. Bill was "Papa Bill" to his grandchildren including Mike Goodrich of Boise, Idaho, Greg Goodrich (Paula Cook) of Caldwell, Idaho, Shelley Barrutia (John) of Boise, Idaho, Scott Elliott of Boise, Idaho, Dr. Matthew Keats, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Ian Keats and Bradley Keats of Charlottesville, Virginia and Geoff Caylor (Virginia) of Portland, Oregon. 11 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren as well as 2 nieces and a nephew survive Bill.
Throughout his life, Bill maintained his devotion to his hobby - Ham Radio. Bill was a member and officer in many Ham Radio organizations - both on a local and national level. One of his most outstanding achievements was the formation of the National Traffic System, to move messages during times of disaster. He received numerous Ham Radio achievement awards, not the least of which was having Worked All U.S. Counties by Morse code. Until 2012, Bill remained active instructing and licensing new Hams into the hobby. The Ham Radio community will long recognize the callsign - W7GHT.
The family would like to express their profound gratitude to the doctors and nurses of St. Luke's - Meridian. We would like to especially thank the staff on the sixth floor for the wonderful care and compassion that they provided Bill in his final days.
At Bill's request, no formal funeral service will be held. His body will be cremated and interred at Cloverdale Memorial Garden, Boise, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donation be made to the Idaho Humane Shelter of Boise, ID.
To share memories with the family please visit William's memorial webpage at www.cloverdalefuneralhome.com.
Cloverdale Funeral Home
1200 North Cloverdale Road Boise, ID 83713
Published in Idaho Statesman on Dec. 11, 2013