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Woody Lyle Smithey was born November 12, 1933. He died peacefully on October 26, 2022 in Little Rock, Arkansas at Baptist Medical Center surrounded by those he loved most. Woody was the son of Lyle Monroe Smithey and Billie Sullivan Smithey. As young college students, Woody and Jo Sheffield married and became parents of four wonderful children and were married for 43 years. After Jo’s untimely death, Woody was blessed to marry a dear friend, Judy Lynch, who had recently lost her spouse. Woody and Judy were married for almost twenty-five years before Woody’s death. Woody is survived his wife Judy Lynch Smithey; daughter, Melanie Smithey Bogle and her husband Bob, Woody Lyle Smithey Jr and his wife Ann, Sandra Smithey Loper and her husband Ben, Paul Sheffield Smithey and his wife Joan as well as his step daughters, Susan Lynch, Jane Lynch and Stacy Huxel and her husband David as well as 15 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
Woody’s life, abilities and experiences were exceptional. As a young man he served in the Naval Reserve and was stationed in San Diego, California. During his youth he discovered and excelled in athletics. He became a state basketball champion. He also became an all-conference and all-state football player. Southern Methodist University took note extending a full athletic scholarship. Woody’s frustration and inability to take first string football responsibilities away from a player with one leg shorter than the other resulted in his giving up scholarship and leaving school. Later he discovered that man on the SMU first team was named Raymond Berry, a premier wide receiver of Johnny Unitas and world championship Baltimore Colts. Upon completion of his collegiate football career Woody received letters of interest from the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Colts and Chicago Bears.
Instead of a sports career Woody chose a business career. He first went into the banking business at Simmons Bank in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Shortly later he joined E B and F R Bloom Insurance as an adjuster. This was the beginning of an insurance career for Woody Smithey. From there he was recruited by Ryland Robinson as an agent for State Farm Insurance. Woody left the agency and joined a management training program after the minimum required two year employment program. From there Woody rose like a meteor becoming a manager in Cincinnati, Ohio then in Montgomery, Alabama. He then moved to Monroe, Louisiana when State Farm opened up a new regional office as the Agent Training Director & later became the State Manager of Mississippi. He wanted to spend more time with his family so he went back to being a District Manager starting a new district in Batesville, Arkansas which became one of the top producing districts in the Mid-South region. Woody changed hundreds of lives for the better during his long and lustrous career with State Farm.
Woody was also a member of the Little Rock Masonic Lodge where he earned the 33rd Degree. He also loved hunting, fishing , golf and tennis. He was a devout Christian and was a member of St James Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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