James W. “Billy” Smith

March 7, 2023

James W. “Billy” Smith, age 84, passed away on March 5, 2023 at a local hospital after a brief illness. Billy comes from humble beginnings. He was born on May 8, 1938 to a full-blooded Creek Indian mother; Nunie McGhee Smith and father, Arthur A. Smith in the very small town of McDavid, Florida. He was one of nine children.

Billy loved his family and always took care of them and made sure they had what they needed. Billy is survived by his wife of 58 years, Faye Ledkins Smith of McDavid, Florida; Son, Darrin F. Smith of McDavid, Florida; one Grandson Dakota F. Smith, of McDavid, Florida; one Granddaughter, Makaya A. Smith, of McDavid, Florida; 5 Great Grandchildren; Kayden, Brayden, Bryson, Ava, and Baylor; one brother Ronnie (Mary Jo) Smith; two sister’s Eunice Nall and Judy (Robert) Amos and many Nieces and Nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Arthur A., and Nunie McGhee Smith; two sisters, Joyce Boatwright, Margaret Rigby, three brothers Austin, Dudley, and Aubrey Smith, one Grandson, Dustin Blake Smith, one half-brother Edward Smith, two half-sisters Lorene Harrison and Inez Holden.

He graduated from Century High School in 1957. Billy served a brief time in the U. S. Army, June 14, 1957 until March 7, 1959, and received an honorable discharge for family hardship due his mother’s passing. Billy returned home and helped take care of his siblings.

Billy worked at various places such as Mid-Valley Construction at St. Regis Paper Co., American Cyanamid in Pace, FL, and retired from Georgia Pacific in Brewton, AL.

He was currently employed by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians as Manager of Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve; a position he held since 2006. He served on the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Council for 18 years; 10 of those years as Vice-Chairman. He served on the Wind Creek Casino Board for 17 years. He has been credited for naming the Casino’s “Wind Creek,” because he was of the Wind Clan. He was instrumental in starting the annual Poarch Band of Creek Indians Pow Wow’s. He was proud of his Tribe and gave his heart to everything he was asked to do with the Tribe for over 53 years.

Funeral service will be held at Petty- Eastside Chapel Funeral Home, LLC., Atmore, Alabama on Friday, March 10, 2023 at 3:00 pm. With Reverend David Elliott officiating. Visitation will be from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm.


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