William Elliot Earl Smith

February 03, 1945 - January 09, 2023


Obituary For William Elliot Earl Smith

William Elliot Earl Smith, resident of Grande Prairie, AB, passed away on Monday, January 9, 2023, surrounded by loved ones at the age of 77 years. William was born February 3, 1945, in Portland, Oregon, to Astrid Matilda Lynnea Smith and William Thomas Smith. William was the middle child. As an adult, William jumped from job to job until he hit the age of 21 when he joined the U.S. Army. He fought in Vietnam from 1967 until 1970. He was part of the communications (signal) core, and it was in Vietnam that he found the Lord and strove to live a life free of sin. From 1973 -1975 he was stationed in Korea, actively serving his country. By mid-1975 he decided he wanted to become an army chaplain and enrolled in college. While William was attending seminary at George Fox College he met his future wife, Ruth Schlinger. They were married in September of 1976, and filled the household with 4 children. In 1976, William joined the Salvation Army, as a regimented lifestyle was now second nature. Through the next years William remained with the U.S. Army serving through both active duty and the Army Reserves. By his retirement in 2006, he had served in over 20 different countries and two wars including the Gulf War in the early 1990’s. He moved his family to Canada in 1988, and resided there ever since. While in Alberta and British Columbia, William continued serving in any capacity needed of him with the Salvation Army, until he could serve no more.

William Smith was military through and through. He loved to teach and disciple anyone that was hungry for knowledge. William became a scholar, he was always writing the next sermon, or class that he hoped to teach next. William grew up in a non-Christian home, however, he had the pleasure of leading both his parents to the Lord before they passed. William left an impact on those he met, there was no doubt that he loved Jesus, and that he loved his family. He will be missed. William is survived by his four children: Rebekah Riggs, Ky Ragan, Shiloh Smith, and Ben Smith; eight grandchildren: Anastasia Riggs, Jordan Ragan, Hannah Ragan, Ruben Riggs, Gabriel Riggs, Cadence Ragan, Jayden Disney, and Taylor Smith. He has also left behind others who loved him, whom he called family, including Ruth Czerniak, Shauna Tetachuk, Jacy Smith, Terry Desmoulin, Trevor Ragan, and Kenton Riggs.

He was predeceased by both his parents, his sister Kathleen, and his brother Charles.

A Viewing will be held for those that wish to pay their respects, on Thursday, January 19, 2023, from 1:00-3:00pm, at Oliver’s Funeral Home in Grande Prairie (10005 107 Ave.). A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, January 20, 2023, at 10:30am, at The Salvation Army Community Church in Grande Prairie (9525 83 Ave.).

Memorial Donations may be made to Salvation Army Community and Family Services, as that was a large portion of his life (9615 102 St., Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 2T8). “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn , and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

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  • January 19, 2023

    So thankful to have served the Lord with you in GP. I have many great memories to cherish. Well done good and faithful servant.

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