William "Mike" Smith
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 8:58 am
Mr. William "Mike" Smith, 72, of Woodbury passed away on August 9, 2015. He was born in Woodbury, Tennessee on July 7, 1943. He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Smith.
Mike grew up on his family's farm in the Edgefield Community of Woodbury. When Mike was a child he suffered a tragic accident. He was hit by a car getting off the school bus. He was in a coma for three weeks before regaining consciousness. The following year he contracted Polio. He spent many months in the Junior League Home in Nashville. While he was being treated he was confined to a device called an iron lung. He was recognized on the front page of the Palm Sunday Paper to raise money and create awareness for Easter Seals. His father headed the sale for many years. Despite these obstacles Mike enjoyed doing many things on the farm, riding horses, hauling hay and feeding the livestock.
Mike graduated from Central High School in the Class of 1962. He always had a smile on his face and loved people. He could and would visit and tell stories with people everywhere he went. He never met a stranger. His love of people led him to choose a career as a funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science in Louisville. He came back to Tennessee and found a job with Hunter Funeral Home in Sparta. He served his apprenticeship and earned his license. During his time at Hunter's he kept planning and dreaming about owning his own funeral home.
Smith Funeral Home opened for business in May of 1971. Mike loved helping the people of Woodbury and stayed active in the community and church. He was a 43 year member of the Lion's Club and lifelong member of the Woodbury Church of Christ. He helped raise money for local charities and sponsored many youth sports teams. Mike never had any children of his own but he made a point to help any child he could. He let many of them do odd jobs around the funeral home and made sure they had something to eat and drink. Mike also wanted to serve his community by becoming a City Alderman. He was elected an Alderman and earned the title of Vice Mayor. He later went on to become Mayor of Woodbury and served for many years.
Mike stayed active in his business and made many friends with other funeral directors through his membership with the Tennessee Funeral Directors Association and the Upper Cumberland Funeral Directors. He was a board member with the Riverside Cemetery Association. In 1981, his business burned and with the help of family and friends he was able to rebuild in a short time. Mike's health was an issue he struggled with his whole life. He became ill several different times narrowly escaping death. His health caused him to become a patient of NHC in Murfreesboro and later Bordeaux Long Term Care in Nashville for many years. Even through these trials, Mike kept going and tried to stay positive. Mike found rest and peace from his struggles on August 9th.