In memoriam: Bill "Smitty" Smith Email
Tuesday, June 09, 2020 02:00 AM

Bill Smitty SmithThe Colorado landscape industry mourns the loss of Bill Smitty” Smith, founder of Smitty’s Sprinklers, CentennialHis family shared the following obituary: 

Smitty” -or- “Bill” born Chalmer William Smith Jr. on June 25, 1941. A dedicated family man, a mentor to many and an outstanding member of the community, he passed away Sunday, May 10th, 2020, surrounded by his loving wife and two devoted children. Bill is survived by his wife, Myrna Smith; his children, daughter Mary Alice Smith; his son Steve and wife Sarah Smith; sisters Dottie, Joan and Judy. 

In Bill’s younger years, he enjoyed skipping school to spend time with his beloved dog Jake and would go fishing at a nearby creek. He was a carpenter by trade, working with his father. He enlisted in the US Army when he was 17 years old and served the military for 7 years. He loved being a military man; it would go on to influence many of his beliefs and core values. The army stationed him in Germany, Italy, Washington D.C.Ft. Carson and Colorado Springs. He spent his last two military years serving in the Vietnam War.  

After his return from the war Bill started working for TWA airlines in Philadelphia. In 1969, Bill’s heart was swept away when he met his sweetheart Myrna. Bill and Myrna were married in her hometown of Walla Walla, Washington in April of 1970, and they shared 50 beautiful years together. After four years in Philadelphia, Bill transferred within TWA moved to Denver, CO.  

In 1982, TWA shut down in Denver but that didn’t slow him down. Smitty was a hardworking man from beginning to the end. He loved working with his hands and carried out the American dream of building his own business in irrigation. Smitty believed you could do anything in life if you put your mind to it. He started in April of 1982, working out of his garage and offering irrigation service for the Aurora community. 

Smitty’s unfailing work ethic drove his belief in providing excellent service to his customers. He was happiest on a Monday morning when the work week started over again. Many people came to know and love him over his 38 years of work in the sprinkler business. He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important. 

In 1989, Bill and Myrna opened the doors to a retail irrigation store. Bill’s hard work proved successful when he combined retail and do-it-yourself sales, installation and service.  

In 2012, Smitty was honored with the “Small Business of Year” award, awarded by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. Smitty’s Sprinkler Systems moved four times to larger buildings and store fronts. Bill’s dream continued with the company’s latest move, his biggest yet, into his own building where the family business will continue to grow successfully with the next generation.  

People of all ages found it very easy to gravitate to Smitty. His generous smile brightened the room. He was kind, warm-hearted, humorous, loving and always positive. Everyone benefited from his affectionate natured soul.  

Bill adored his wife Myrna. He often showered her with cards, flowers or little trinkets he would fall upon in his daily travels. He always wanted her to know he was thinking of her through-out the day. He loved her deeply and everyone knew it. Together they found the beautiful balance of building a family, a business and beautiful marriage for 50 years. Elvis Presley’s song “I Can’t Help Falling In-Love” spoke mountains to their everyday affection for one another.  

Bill’s children expressed that anyone could be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad. Bill was that someone special and more. He never held his love for his children back in anyway. He often went the extra mile to show everyone how much he cared.  He always expressed it whether it was in the little notes he left in the morning or when celebrating special occasions. He was an amazing father who offered unconditional love and he was truly a treasure.  

Bill watched old western movies, hockey and baseball games and FOX news. He cooked many family dinners, enjoyed a glass of wine and his favorite treat was a chocolate chip cookie. He loved to share his wildly entertaining stories about his military days and years working for TWA. He will be remembered for his leadership, honor and love. He took pride in educating his children and taught them the value of being a hard worker. He often told them to “rub some dirt on it” and “get-er-done.” He was truly a hard-working man through thick and thin.  

In his later years, his exposure to agent orange proved fatal. Bill lost his battle to lung cancer shortly after his diagnosis. He was robbed of his strength, stamina and ability to work but his fight was fierce after surviving a life-changing brain tumor, heart conditions as well as kidney and skin cancer.  

Though Smitty’s hardware has been decommissioned his spirit will live on strong everyday through his family and at Smitty’s Sprinklers.  

Bill and Myrna are long time members of ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL. 

Due to Covid-19, a traditional funeral and celebration of life will be held for Bill at the church in the near future as the virus restrictions ease. The family hopes to have the services take place in August 2020. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to the American Cancer Society or Veteran Affairs.  

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
In memoriam: Bill Whittaker
Quarantine leads Coloradans to look for landscape improvements

Workplace safety is more important than ever

Leo Degenstein received Stan Brown Award