Billy Ray Smith, formerly of Friendswood, TX., died October 12, 2017, at the age of 80 at the Robin Johnson House in Dallas, NC. He was born on January 18, 1937 to parents, W.L. "Dutch" and Ruth Smith, and is survived by his wife, Jayme and children, Deborah Ann Smith, Sharon Denise Smith, William Lloyd Smith, Jeffrey Randall Harris and Carmen Lehe Helm; five grandchildren, Elizabeth Ann Smith, Dallas Ray Smith, Lindsey Nicole Smith, Emily Nicole Helm and Dylan Randall Helm; one great grandchild Sawyer Conley Helm; sister, Donna Ruth Wall, niece, Denise Eileen Iskerski, and grandnephew, Daniel Iskerski and grandniece, Rachel Iskerski. Billy was born in Kilgore, Texas, but lived from age five in Liberty, Texas, graduation from Liberty High School in 1955. Billy graduated from Texas A & M College (yes, before it became a university) in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 1970, he graduated with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from University of Houston School of Law. Admitted to the Texas State Bar in 1970, Billy was in the private practice of law until his death. He was a member of the Texas Bar Association, Houston Bar Association, a charter member of the Texas Aggie Bar Association and a Fellow of the State Bar College. A resident of the Clear Lake Bay Area of Harris County, Texas beginning in April of 1962, Billy was a long-time member of St. Christopher Episcopal Church in League City, serving on the Vestry, as Treasurer, Lay Reader and Bethel Bible Teacher. He became a member of the Rotary Club of Space Center in June 1975 and served as it's President in Rotary Year 1990-1991. He also served as founding chairman of the Space Center Rotary Club Endowment Foundation, on the founding committee of The Rotary National Space Award Foundation. Beginning in the Spring of 1995, Billy was employed by University of Houston- Clear Lake as an adjunct instructor in the Legal Studies department of the School of Business and Public Administration, teaching the law of property transactions for over 30 years, and was selected Adjunct of the Year in 2011, only the second such award by the University.
Memorial services will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Gaston Hospice Robin Johnson House, P.O. Box 3984, Gastonia, NC 28054.