William (Bill) Oscar Smith, Jr. passed away Thursday, November 23rd at the age of 93. Saturday, December 2nd at the H.M. Patterson Funeral Home on Peachtree Road in Brookhaven, the family will receive friends at 10:00 a.m. The Memorial Service will begin at 10:30 a.m. A private burial will follow at Arlington Cemetery.
He was born in Geneva, Alabama, January 31, 1930, to William O. Smith, Sr., and Mary Nile (Tueton) Smith. His working career started in the 10th grade, with a newspaper route. At the age of 16, Bill was the head of the newspaper route with over 25 newspaper carriers. His entire career involved journalism and public relations.
In 1948 Bill graduated high school and worked for the Montgomery Advertiser for 3 years as a newspaper reporter until he was drafted into the US Army. His last story with the MA was an interview with the selective service director who drafted him into the Army. After he was released from the Army in 1955, he entered Auburn University later transferring to the University of Alabama, earning a journalism degree in 1957. After graduation, he worked for the Birmingham Newspaper as a City Editor. Bill then went to work as a newspaper reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, where he worked for 10 years. From 1962-1967 he covered the State of Georgia Capital. After working for the AJC, he went into Public Relations. He became the Public Affairs Assistant to the Regional Director for the southeast of the Post Office Department located in Atlanta, Georgia. He then went to work for Bell & Stanton, a PR firm. In 1972 Bill went to work for the State of GA. Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) where he would eventually retire in 1998. Under the Administrations of Jimmy Carter, George Busby, Joe Frank Harris, and Zell Miller, he served as a speech writer, document coordinator, and information specialist. Bill was admired and respected by all at the OPB.
He was a great dad and grandfather. He was loved by all who met him and he never met a stranger. Bill, an avid tennis player, was well respected within the Atlanta tennis community as well. He often played tennis with Jimmy Carter and later with George Busby at the Governor’s mansion. He won the Georgia State Government Tennis Championship at the Governor’s Mansion. In 1971 he served as the City/State Director for the Southern USTA League, where he helped bring the Girls 14U USTA National Tournament to Atlanta. In 1976, due to his involvement with Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA), he became an honorary lifetime member. He organized the first ALTA team at Brittany Club, where he was a member for over 60 years, and was “Captain” for over 40 years.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Barbara G Smith – 59 years married and two children, Jenny Elaine Smith, and James Forrest Glisson. Survivors include his son Arnold Joseph “Joe” Glisson III (Diane), his daughter Julie Andrea Herren (Jim), and two grandchildren Jacob Forrest Herren and Jenna Nicole Herren.