Wilfred “Bill” Dean Smith of Alma, Michigan passed away of natural causes at his home on June 4, 2020, at the age of 76 years. Bill was known to many as "Doc Smith". On July 27, 1943, Bill was born to Elmer and Josephine (Rasmussen) Smith of Laingsburg, Michigan. He attended Laingsburg Schools until the eighth grade and then graduated from Ovid High School in 1962 as president of his class. Bill went on to attend Michigan State University and earned his Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine in 1967. He moved to Alma, Michigan in 1968 to join in partnership at State Road Animal Hospital. Bill eventually became owner until his “retirement” in 1993 to focus on his farm.
Bill was an accomplished horseman and had a lifelong passion for raising, training, and driving horses. He was happiest holding a pair of lines in his hands. For thirty years he raised Morgan horses, and then transitioned to raising Percheron draft horses and Corriedale sheep with his wife Cary at their home, Serenity Farms. Bill enjoyed sharing his vast knowledge of horses with his family and the many friends he made over the years in the horse industry. Horses and horse people were always a part of Bill's life, and he cherished his memories from the many fairs, horse shows, and field days.
Bill was a 4-H alumnus, former FFA State Officer, board member of the Gratiot County Fair for Youth, Gratiot County Sheriff Posse, and he was instrumental in establishing the Gratiot County Animal Shelter. Bill was a past member of the American Veterinary Association, the Michigan Draft Horse Breeders Association, the Percheron Horse Association of Michigan, and the American Morgan Horse Association.
Bill is survived by his wife of 27 years, Cary Ann (Wilmore) Smith; his children: Julie (Carl) Gelderloos of Boulder, Colorado, Patricia (Daniel) Macha of St. Louis, Michigan, Nakia (Mark) Carter of St. Louis, Michigan, and Alex Strouse of Sanford, Michigan; his grandchildren: Amanda (Travis) Siddall, Benjamin Gelderloos, Dylan Macha, Keith Gelderloos, Mason Carter, and Elliot Carter, Jillian (Luke), Chloe, Anavieve Stapleton, Jeff (Ollivia), Avonlea Macha; his brother Doug (Laura) Smith, sisters-and brothers-in-law: Mary Smith, Linda Smith, Kim (Chris) Wood, Darin (Susan) Wilmore, Michael Wilmore, and Devin Wilmore; special nephews Eric, Wayne, Chris, Phil & Matt Smith; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers: Thomas Smith and Jody Smith; and his granddaughter Amber Fisher.
We rejoice in knowing that he is walking again and driving a team of horses in the eternal green pastures of Heaven.
A Private Memorial Service will be held later this summer. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Gratiot County 4-H Council (219 N. State St., Alma, MI 48801).
To leave an online condolences for the family please visit www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Ithaca, MI.
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