William “Bill” Clifton Smith Jr., born June 17, 1950 in Lawrenceville, Virginia, to the late Virginia Tucker and the late William Clifton Smith, passed away at age 68 on October 24, 2018 in Rawlings, Virginia.
Bill was a graduate of Brunswick High School in Lawrenceville, VA and Elon University, as well as a proud member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. He began his career with a Ford dealership in Virginia and relocated to the Sandhills, where he founded Bill Smith Ford in 1979. He later acquired Bill Smith Ford-Lincoln-Mercury and Bill Smith Mazda, all of which he passionately operated “hands-on” for three decades. He won countless awards for excellence in service, customer satisfaction, and community leadership.
Though Bill was the consummate businessman, his passion was for his community. He served as Chairman for The Moore County Chamber of Commerce and President of the Pinehurst Historic Preservation Foundation. As part of his work with the Foundation, he was instrumental in the creation of the Village Arboretum. He was also deeply involved in projects on behalf of the Public Education Foundation, Project Santa, the Arts Council of Moore County, the Sandhills Kiwanis Club, and Partners in Progress.
In recognition of his services to his community, he received the Moore County Community Foundation Man of the Year Award and the Felton J. Capel Four Way Award for Community Service from the Southern Pines Rotary Club. Known around town as a true Southern gentleman—with his smiling face, kind demeanor, and unmistakable Virginian accent—Bill loved helping others, his community, and his employees.
In addition to his accolades for his dedication to the community, he was equally recognized for his excellence in business. He earned Ford Motor Company’s distinguished Chairman’s Award, the highest company honor based on customer satisfaction in all phases of operation. He was also one of 26 dealers nationally to serve on the Ford Motor Company National Dealers Council, and also served on the North Carolina Automotive Dealers Association and North Carolina Dealer Council for Ford Motor Company. He was a Director on the Lincoln Mercury Dealers Advertising Association.
After the sale of his dealership in 2013, Bill founded Performance Pre-Owned Automotive in Southern Pines and became a licensed Realtor®/Broker in 2014. He was a top-producing commercial broker throughout the Sandhills area and received the Gold Chairman Award from Berkshire Hathaway.
But above all, he loved his family. He is survived by his wife, Cathy Smith; his daughters, Madison Smith, Megan Smith and Makenzie Smith; his stepsons, Zachary Adorno and Sean Adorno; his stepdaughters, Samantha Phifer and Rachel Hernandez; and his sister, Shirley Noffsinger.
He was a member of Christ Community Church.
Services to be held at Concord Presbyterian Church, 30 Harpers Bridge Rd, Rawlings, VA 23876, November 10, 2018 at 11:00 am and at Christ Community Church, 220 Campground Road, West End, NC, November 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm. Following the service there will be a ‘Celebration of Life’ held at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, 1005 Midland Road, Southern Pines, NC 28387.
Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Young Life in the Sandhills, P.O. Box 1198, Southern Pines, NC 28388 (910)315-7949 or to Mr. Earl's Project Santa, 291 S. Mechanic Street, Southern Pines, NC, 28387, (910) 639-4048.