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1936 William "bill" 2021

William "Bill" Noble Smets

April 19, 1936 — November 30, 2021

William “Bill” Noble Smets, 85, of Lexington, Nebraska passed away Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at Avamere in Lexington. He was born on April 19, 1936, to J. Russell and Laura Mae (Wicklund) Smets on the family farm in the Swiss Valley north of Broken Bow, Nebraska. Bill graduated from Broken Bow High School with the class of 1953. He was united in marriage to Shirley Sprague at Huntley, Nebraska, in 1956 and to this union three children were born: Nicholas, Brent, and Ann. They lived in Eustis, Nebraska and have resided in Lexington, Nebraska since 1973. Bill proudly served in the 568th Field Artillery, the 128th Engineer Battalion, and 1-195 Armor Battalion in the United States Army National Guard from 1953 to 1988, retiring as Brigade Commander with the rank of Colonel. He fondly recalls the training and the opportunities to guide the young minds of the next generations of military. He was employed by the Nebraska Department of Roads for 55 years, starting as a mechanic and retiring in 2013 as the Superintendent of Roads, a position he held for 23 years. Upon retirement, Bill certainly did not miss working on the road crews during blizzards in the middle of the night. He also graduated from Central Community College in 1986 with the distinction of being the first person to receive a degree without ever attending classes on any of the three campuses; the entirety of his college work was completed through the Lexington Learning Center. He also transferred credits through Kearney State College and the military as he earned as Associates of Applied Science degree in Business Management. Bill enjoyed gardening, whittling, camping, fishing, refurbishing old cars, playing cards, fixing things, and telling jokes and stories, but he mostly loved spending time with his family. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Lexington and volunteered in many capacities but may be best remembered for his original children’s sermons. He also belonged to the Goldenrod Car Club, the Lions, Cosmos, Masons, and the Shriners. Bill was proud of his family and country, and was honored to serve both to the best of his God-given ability. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers and their wives, Herb (Dorothy) Smets, Jim Smets, and Tom (Marge) Smets; brothers-in-law, Dick Larsen, Joe McCoy and Bud Sprague; nephews, Larry Sprague, Kevin Sprague, Randy Sprague and great-nephew, Jeff Landen. Left to mourn his passing are his wife of 65 years, Shirley; three children, Nick and wife Jo Ann Smets of Kearney, Brent and wife Connie of Lexington, and Ann Smets of Lexington; six grandchildren, Braden Smets of Shelton, Aaron and wife Tina Smets of Kearney, Kyle Smets and Ana Montes of Kearney, Trevor and wife Jordan Smets of Waukee, Iowa, Hannah Smets of Omaha, and Colby and wife Bear Smets of Vallejo, California; six great-grandchildren, Justin Smets, Jordan Smets, Missy Smets, Jaiden Nickerson, Crystal Smets and Miah Smets; sister, Ellen and husband Stan Garretson of Smith Center, Kansas; sisters-in-law, Jo McCoy of Fort Collins, Colorado, Kathy Sprague of Denver, Colorado, and Janet Larsen of Loomis; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, friends, and loved ones and his beloved dog, Hunter. A Celebration of Life Service will be on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at Noon at the First Presbyterian Church in Lexington with Reverend Eddie Mariel, officiating. The service will be livestreamed via the Lexington First Presbyterian Church YouTube channel, which can be found through: Visitation will be held on Monday, December 6, 2021 from 5-7 p.m. at Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington. Burial with Military Honors will be held on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Fort McPherson National Cemetery at Maxwell. Friends are welcome to join the family that morning and will be leaving Reynolds-Love Funeral Home at 9:00 a.m. Memorials are kindly suggested to the family for later designation. Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting:
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church

801 N Lincoln St, Lexington, NE 68850

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