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William Frederick Smith


1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
William Frederick Smith Obituary
Bill Smith of Rancho Palos Verdes passed away at home with family by his side.

Bill was born to Joseph and Helen Smith in Los Angeles. He married Phyllis Jocelyn Stoddard of LA in 1951, having children Susan, Robert, Daniel, James and Andrew, divorcing in 1975. He married Claudia Jeanne Ransom of LA in 1978, with stepson John Ransom. Bill was preceded in passing by his parents, sons Daniel Arthur Smith and Andrew William Smith, wife Claudia Smith, and brother Ferd Smith. He is survived by sister Jean Kohlmeyer, daughter Susan Jocelyn Campbell, sons Robert Allen and James Joseph Smith; step-son John Ransom, grandchildren Drew, Connor and Tracey Campbell, Rachel Amanda Smith; great grandchildren Maizee and Mattox Campbell, and nephews Craig and Steven Smith.
Bill attended Dorsey High School in LA then USC where he lettered in gymnastics, was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and served in the Navy V12 program in Chicago and Washington DC patent offices during WWII, graduating in mechanical engineering in 1945. He then worked as an engineer for Dow Chemical, Carnation, and Fluor architecture; eventually starting in business with Evan Koppe (and later Vince Carroll and other good friends) in the early 1950s building tract homes in the Pomona area. Over the next 50 years he and they built many commercial and residential buildings in the South Bay, including one of the first seafront Redondo Esplanade apartments, Redondo pier refurbishment (incl. El Torito/Concerts by the Sea), 320 Strand Man. Bch., and Via la Cima in RPV. Drive through the South Bay; chances are you'll pass a "Bill building" or two.

Bill and Phyllis built a home on the cliffs at Rocky Point in Palos Verdes Estates. Bill heard noise out back in fog & found the SS Dominator in their "back yard". He rang the Coast Guard & was told-"there are no ships in the area."

In 1963, with friends Sid & Ethel Pattison, they bought & split a big lot on the strand & 4th St. in Man. Bch., raising four children & enjoying a group of close friends that gathered there on the beach. In the '60's and '70's the friends held themed 'Strand Stomp' beach parties that are legendary. After his marriage to Claudia they designed and built a Spanish-style villa above PV cove, living there for many years before moving to their Rancho PV home on Via la Cima of the same design.

Bill was a 52-, and 30-year member of the Palos Verdes Golf and Tennis Clubs, respectively. He was still playing Tennis and enjoying weekly pizza and two-buck-Chuck with his tennis pals until Aug. He enjoyed playing volleyball ([in]famous for "dinking"), bodysurfing, fishing with friends and family in Mexico and the Rockies, skiing, hiking/camping, reading, and Western art.
He was part of a group of families and close friends who gathered at the Shattuck's at 9th Street in Hermosa, then 24th and 4th streets in Man. Bch. for volleyball, festivities and beach fun. Bill was also a lifelong Trojan. Fight on!

We miss him heaps. He had a good, long life, having fun, and leaving behind loving friends and family-and cool buildings.
If friends are the measure of one's life, Bill was a truly rich man and we are grateful for their warmth, kindness, good spirits and fun. He is now teeing off with Sid (Pattison), Bill (Maxe) & Jack McDonald…and probably still trying to best Sid's score.

A celebration of Bill's life with family and friends will be held at the PV Country Club on Jan 22nd at 12:00. Flowers may be sent to the celebration, or a donation to the Surfrider Foundation or a .
Published in The Beach Reporter on Jan. 19, 2017
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