Billy Jack Smith Jr., 50, Poteau, died Monday, May 14, 2012, in Poteau.
He was born Aug. 21, 1961, to Billy Jack Smith Sr. and Betty (Bandy) Smith. Billy Jack graduated from Poteau High School in 1979. During his high school years, he excelled at sports, being named to the Tulsa World’s All State Football Team in 1978. He also played the trombone in the Poteau Marching Band. He went on to attend Missouri Southern State College, now known as Missouri Southern State University, majoring in Criminal Justice and graduated in May 1984. At MSSU, he was a four-year starter and had earned All-Conference and All-District honors for two years. His senior year, he made honorable mention in the All America Team voting. He attended an Oakland Raider Football camp in the summer of 1984 and embraced the opportunity presented to him. He received several sports honors after completing college, including the Poteau High School Hall of Fame, MSSU Silver Anniversary Team, and MSSU Hall of Fame.
Professionally, his career began at the Poteau Police Department in November 1984. He started as dispatcher and worked his way up through the ranks. He was sworn in as Chief of Police on Dec. 20, 1994. He successfully completed classes at the FBI Academy in the fall of 1995. He served on the LeFlore County Youth Services Board of Directors, on the board of the LeFlore County Child Advocacy Center, Masonic Lodge 46, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security Region 5, council member and other committees throughout the years. He dedicated many years of service to the City of Poteau and to its community members. He loved spending time with his family and friends whether it was on the farm, hunting and fishing or just relaxing around the house.
He was preceded in death by his father Billy Jack Smith Sr., and brother, John K. Smith.
Billy Jack is survived by his wife, Ramona, of the home; three children, Billy Dalton Smith, Joshua Boyd Smith, and Jacob Ryan Smith of the home; his mother, Betty Smith; sister and brother-in-law, Regina and Steve Peck; uncles and aunts, Lee Roy and Gayle Bandy, Howard Bandy Sr., Jeanette Chronister, Viola Connelly, Wanda Smith, W.R. “Babe” and Pat Smith; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of other family members, friends and loved ones.
Pallbearers will be the Poteau Police Department. Honorary Pallbearers will be Stanley Odom, Jerry Collins, Terry Williamson, Jim Acogy, Kendall Ballew, Bob Hendricks, Chub Russell and Scotty Bradshaw.
Services will be held at the Donald W. Reynolds Civic Center at 2 p.m. Friday, May 18. The family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home. Services are under the direction of Grace Manor Funeral Home, Poteau. You may leave an on-line greeting to the family at www.gracemanorfh.com .
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