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William Ray Smith

Updated on July 31, 2014

Born 6/26/25 - Died 6/3/06

William Ray Smith, the third son of Revs. Harry and Daisy Smith, was born in Lyman, Oklahoma on June 26, 1925, while his parents were pastors there. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics at Southern Nazarene University at Bethany, Oklahoma and a master's degree in mathematics and physics from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles in biophysics and nuclear medicine.

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Dr. William Ray "Bill" Smith

Born in Lyman, Oklahoma on June 26, 1925

Dr. William Ray "Bill" Smith

William Ray Smith, the third son of Revs. Harry and Daisy Smith, was born in Lyman, Oklahoma on June 26, 1925, while his parents were pastors there. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics at Southern Nazarene University (Bethany Peniel College) at Bethany, Oklahoma and a master's degree in mathematics and physics from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles in biophysics and nuclear medicine. He passed away June 3, 2006 and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California.

Professionally he started his career at Beech Aircraft Corporation in Wichita, Kansas in 1951. His mission there was aircraft vibration and flutter. In 1953 he changed to McDonnell Aircraft Company in St. Louis, Missouri. There he was responsible for structural dynamics on the Mercury space project.

In 1960 he moved to California to teach mathematics and physics part time at Pasadena College (now Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego). Later he joined Lockheed Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, California. Bill also taught at Glendale College in Glendale, California and Mount Saint Mary's College in Los Angeles. Beginning in 1973, for nine years, he worked at Rockwell Airplane Division in Downey and Long Beach.

He was a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, AIAA, AAAS, Pi Mu Epsilon and Sigma Xi. He has been listed in Marquis "Who's Who in America" since 1994.

While staying with his brother Mendell, he attended the Billy Graham Campaign in Anaheim, California. There he went forward and dedicated his life fully to Jesus Christ. After his conversion he worked tirelessly for the Lord at the Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles for the last 30+ years.

William Ray Smith and his Mercedes Benz

William Ray Smith and his Mercedes Benz
William Ray Smith and his Mercedes Benz
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My Uncle Bill

by Shauna (Smith) Congelliere

How do I sum up the life of such a loving, giving, brilliant, and quick witted man? I don't, but rather I will let you see him through my eyes. He is My Uncle Bill and I treasure him for many reasons.

When I describe My Uncle Bill and why I treasure him, I certainly speak first of his selflessness. He always gave… his full attention, invested devotion, and words of encouragement. It is my Uncle Bill who encouraged me to do what I was passionate about in life. He didn't just say words lightly. Instead, he invested his words in me. At an early age I was interested in writing stories and poems. My Uncle Bill didn't just say "Oh that's a fine interest; you can do it." Instead, he went a step further. He bought me books about how to be a good writer. I dedicated my first book, in fourth grade, to My Uncle Bill. As silly as it is to read today, he made me feel like it was a masterpiece. Each visit together he inquired on my writing progress and interest. At times it was a full year between visits and he still asked very detailed questions about my last writing venture. He remembered the details of my life because he gave his full attention and he genuinely cared about me. Pastor Charles Swindoll said, "The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail." I can't help but think that My Uncle Bill's attention to detail in people's lives makes us all remember him as someone great and not just someone good.

Another description of My Uncle Bill is quick to laugh. What a treasure laughter is. Like all the men in the Smith family, he was very sharp and quick-witted; he had such a magnetic personality. I was always eager to enter into conversation with him. He told funny jokes and crazy childhood stories. His endless supply of humor showed his light-hearted joy. And oh the songs! I'll never forget listening to Harry Belafonte songs and other strange tunes like 'Does Your Chewing Gum Loose It's Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight' and 'At the Boarding House Where I Lived Everything Was Growing Old'. I can't help but smile when I think about singing these songs while out boating with My Uncle Bill. He always had a profound way of contagiously smiling along with life, whatever it produced.

Many of you also know My Uncle Bill as I do - a brilliant man with a genius mind and an insatiable desire to learn. He was a professional student, yet he didn't just fill his mind with worldly knowledge. He sought out the scriptures and how to serve God with all his heart, soul, and mind. We shared our Bible teachings this year via email. In doing so, we have shared a deep passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a natural response to the incredible love that God first showed us by giving His Son Jesus to bridge the gap between man and Creator. I'm delighted that My Uncle Bill asked Jesus into his heart... a heart that he said was imperfect in the temporal will now beat eternally for God.

I can't help but picture My Uncle Bill standing before God. Do you see him as I do? He is in a sailor cap, nautical shirt, tailored shorts with his deck shoes on. I know he is hearing the words from Matthew 25:23 "Well done, good and faithful servant; Enter into the joy of your Lord."

Niece Shauna (Smith) Congelliere

Where is Catalina Island? - Catalina is part of the eight Channel Islands archipelago

Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, or just Catalina, is an island off the coast of Southern California. just 22 miles (35 km) south-southwest of Los Angeles. The east end of the island is located at 33 degrees, 18'10"N, 118 degrees, 18'58"W.

Catalina is part of the eight Channel Islands archipelago. The eight islands that make up the archipelago are divided into two groups — the Northern Channel Islands and the Southern Channel Islands. Catalina Island is one of the four Southern Channel Islands.

Here is a picture of Uncle Bill in Colorado Springs at Mendells 80th Birthday Party.

Here is a picture of Uncle Bill in Colorado Springs at Mendells 80th Birthday Party.
Here is a picture of Uncle Bill in Colorado Springs at Mendells 80th Birthday Party.

Bill's 80th Birthday: Catalina Island

Bill's 80th Birthday: Catalina Island
Bill's 80th Birthday: Catalina Island

Uncle Bill at his brothers 86th Birthday Party in Chino California

Uncle Bill at his brothers 86th Birthday Party in Chino California
Uncle Bill at his brothers 86th Birthday Party in Chino California

Uncle Bill at Clint and Melanie Wedding

Uncle Bill at Clint and Melanie Wedding
Uncle Bill at Clint and Melanie Wedding

Uncle Bill with Harry and Cecile

Uncle Bill with Harry and Cecile
Uncle Bill with Harry and Cecile

Yvonne, Mendell, Sevilla and Uncle Bill

Yvonne, Mendell, Sevilla and Uncle Bill
Yvonne, Mendell, Sevilla and Uncle Bill

Uncle Bill with Mendell and Sevilla

Uncle Bill with Mendell and Sevilla
Uncle Bill with Mendell and Sevilla

Bill Smith as butler at a women's tea, 2006

Bill Smith as butler at a women's tea, 2006
Bill Smith as butler at a women's tea, 2006

Bill's favorite view: The Pacific Ocean

Bill's favorite view: The Pacific Ocean
Bill's favorite view: The Pacific Ocean

Testimony of William R. "Uncle Bill" Smith

Unlike David Copperfield, I will start with the middle of my life. I attended UCLA after moving to California. Sevilla invited me to attend the Billy Graham Crusade at Dodger Stadium. From the sermon and after reflection on my life, I realized that I was pretty far away from being a Christian. A few days later I went back to the Crusade, by myself, and when the invitation was made, I went forward and asked Jesus to come into my heart. (I grew up in a Christian home and had given my life to God so many times, that it was more ritual than a significant life changing event.) Since going forward at the Crusade, I can now point to that time for giving my heart to the Lord. That was the final turning point in my life resulting in being saved, and the beginning of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My walk with the Lord has not necessarily been without fault since then, but now there is this difference, when I fail (sin), I know that when I ask for forgiveness that God forgives (I don't have to go back and start all over again).

Small Sailboat

Small Sailboat
Small Sailboat

How to Sail a Sailboat - how to correctly use an emergency radio on a sailboat

How to Sail a Sailboat: Coast Guard Tips When Sailing

Learn how to correctly use an emergency radio on a sailboat with expert boating tips in this free video clip on sailing.

Expert: Kelli Gant, Steve Damm, Ed Polkenhorn

Bio: Steve Damm has raced in the America's Cup, round the world races and won Olympic gold medals. He now teaches beginning sailing.

Filmmaker: Bing Hu

What is the Difference between a Ship and a Boat? - A boat can fit onto a ship...

What is the Difference between a Ship and a Boat?

The distinction between a ship and a boat varies depending on regional definitions, but as a general rule, a boat can fit onto a ship, but a ship cannot fit onto a boat. A ship, in other words, is a very large ocean-going vessel, while a boat tends to be much smaller. Additionally, a ship usually is defined as having a displacement larger than 500 tons. During the age of sailing, a craft with three or more rigged masts was considered to be a ship, but this definition has been superseded, as different methods of power generation are used on modern ships.

Watercraft that we typically associate with the category of "ship" include: cruise ships, container ships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, tall ships, and frigates. All of these ships are extremely large, and designed to endure potentially long ocean voyages. Traditionally, they required a very large crew of skilled sailors to manage them, although some ships, especially container ships, are growing increasingly easier to run with only a small crew. This is thanks to the development of sophisticated computer systems and improved mechanization, among other things. These ships are also capable of carrying a large volume of cargo, people, or a combination of both.

Los Angeles Yacht Club

http://www.layc.org/tp42/default.asp?ID=126715

William R Smith, the 3rd son of Revs. Harry and Daisy Smith - He earned a Ph.D. from UCLA in biophysics and nuclear medicine.

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Uncle Bill was born in Lyman, Oklahoma on June 26, 1925He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Southern Nazarene University at Bethany, Oklahoma.His parents were pastors at the Church of the Nazarene
Uncle Bill was born in Lyman, Oklahoma on June 26, 1925
Uncle Bill was born in Lyman, Oklahoma on June 26, 1925
He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Southern Nazarene University at Bethany, Oklahoma.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Southern Nazarene University at Bethany, Oklahoma.
His parents were pastors at the Church of the Nazarene
His parents were pastors at the Church of the Nazarene

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    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 6 years ago from Washington KS

      Lovely tribute and beautiful views of the Pacific.