William Larry Smelley (Pappy), 81, went to be with his Heavenly Father on Saturday, November 20, 2021. Larry was born in Longview to William Sam and Ollie Mae Smelley on February 1, 1940. He lived most of his life in Longview. Most recently, Larry lived in Jefferson, Texas where he was loved and cared for by the amazing staff at Magnolia Place Nursing Home.
Larry lived life to the fullest. He had many passions throughout his life. While growing up, he could be found working with his dad on the farm or goofing off with his cousins. After graduating from Hallsville High school in 1958, he served in the Army as a cryptographer. He took great pride in his service to our country. He spent his career working for Eastman. Larry married Pollye Glynda Townsend on December 21, 1962 and remained in a loving marriage until her death in 2019. Together, they raised three children: Steve, Sandy, and Sharla. They often took road trips into Arkansas to enjoy the views. While there on a trip, he bought a dulcimer. He taught himself to play and spent hours playing hymns. Gardening and teaching his grandchildren to garden was a favorite summertime activity for all. He kept his pond stocked so he could fish with his grandchildren often. He spent most of his retirement in his shop creating very intricate woodwork designs. He proudly gifted many hand-crafted items to people around the community. Larry had a love for sports. He enjoyed watching his grandkids play and rarely missed a game. He also was a devoted Ladycat Softball fan. He took his role as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout mentor very seriously and gladly volunteered his time and resources for the boys. Because he was so involved in his grandchildren’s’ lives, many kids knew him as Pappy. He loved when all the kids called him this. Pappy enjoyed making people smile. Most memories shared of him included him being goofy. When asked how he was, he would always respond, “Mean as ever.” He thought this was so funny.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, William Sam and Ollie Mae Smelley; wife Pollye Glynda; sisters, Dorothy Freeman and Betty Freeman
Larry is survived by his children, Steven Larry Smelley of Uncertain, Cassandra (Sandy) Dawn Wright & husband Mark of Longview, and Sharla Ann Shoesmith & husband Jay; Grandchildren, Caleb Wade Wright of Longview, Christa Shea Smelley of Plano, Colin Glenn Wright and fiancé Erica Dumeyer of Longview, Callie Dawn Price & husband Colby of Longview, Jacob Andrew Shoesmith of Dallas Cassandra (Cassie) Jaye Shoesmith of Dallas and fiancé JJ Zavalydriga, and Judson Cole (Jeep) Shoesmith of Grapevine; Great grandchildren, Cydni and Rylan Hicks, Londyn & Xander Narramore, Cambell Price; Sister Barbara Waits, brother in law Delbert Freeman, and sister in law Sandra McNair. He had many nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.
Visitation for Larry will be 5PM to 7PM, Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at East Texas Funeral Home. A celebration of Larry’s life will be a graveside service on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at 10:00 am at Winterfield United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons Caleb Wright, Colin Wright, Jacob Shoesmith, Jeep Shoesmith, Colby Price and JJ Zavalydriga.
Donations in Larry’s memory can be made to your church or any VA organization.