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William Gene Smith, 80, passed away April 13, 2014 at Grand Itasca Hospital ICU.

Bill was born in Chicago, Ill., to Clifford and Lillian Smith on Oct. 8, 1933 and moved to Harris Township, Minn., when he was a young child.

He graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1951, earned his associate degree from Itasca Junior College in 1953, his bachelors degree in Industrial Arts-Teaching from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1955, and later, his masters in Education degree from Bemidji State University. Bill was a well-loved and respected Industrial Arts teacher at Grand Rapids Middle School for 35 years; he retired in 1994.

In 1954, Bill married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Doris Erholtz of Blackberry. They celebrated 55 years of marriage together, until her death in 2009.

Bill Smith was an active member of the Masonic Lodge No. 208, a past member of Blandin Arion Male Chorus, was involved in Showboat, and was the unofficial "mayor" of Grand Rapids. He also loved Skunk Lake.

Surviving family includes his three children, Theresa (David) Peltier, Bovey Minn., Thomas (Lori) Smith, Manalapan N.J., and Bradley (Michele) Smith, Grand Rapids Minn.; grandchildren, Paul (Molly) Peltier, Jeffrey Peltier, Kramer Smith, Nevada Smith, Nathan Rais, Max Rais, and Marissa Rais; a great grand daughter, Emma Grace Peltier; his twin brother Bud (Joy) Smith, Hibbing, Minn., and sister Joyce (Jerry) McKnight, Grand Rapids, Minn.; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE: 12 Noon until 2 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at Timberlake Lodge, Grand Rapids Minn. A private family burial service will be held at Harris Township Cemetery.

Arrangements are with the Rowe Funeral Home and Crematory of Grand Rapids, Minn.

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