ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — A caravan of sheriff’s deputy escorted Deputy Smith’s body to Mack Funeral Home late Tuesday morning. Officers lined Highway 59 saluting as a med unit carrying his body passed by. It has been another emotional day for everyone that knew him.
“It didn’t surprise me that he died helping someone else,” says friend Jeremy Hardy. “That was just the kind of person he was.” That is what many remember about Baldwin County Deputy Bill Smith, his smile, “He always had a smile on his face,” a kind word or gesture. So full of life.
“Bill was just one of those people that it didn’t take long to learn to like,” says Hardy.
Last month, it was a fourth grader at Pine Grove Elementary that got a surprise visit from the former fire chief turned sheriff’s deputy. Kayden Seale had saved his family from a burning house and Smith was there to make sure he knew how special he was.
Now, it’s Smith who is being honored. His patrol vehicle a growing memorial, “I’ve driven past it several times on my way to work,” says Hardy. “I don’t know if I can get out and look at it yet.”
Sunday evening, without hesitation, the veteran first responder gave up his life to save another in the waters off Fort Morgan. No one who knew him is surprised by his heroic effort says Hardy. “Everyone is so sad that he’s not here but it does help ease the pain a little bit. So many people loved him and it’s easy to see why.”
Funeral arrangements have been finalized. Services will be held Saturday, June 12 at the Baldwin County Coliseum in Robertsdale off Fairground Road. Visitation will begin at 12:30, services will follow at 2 o’clock and the public is invited.