Otha W. "Bill" Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, Aug. 31, 1925, to Otha William and Alice Smith. He died April 23, 2012 at the age of 86. Bill served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He married Audra E. Barnes on June 27, 1943 at Steamboat Springs, CO.
He served amateur softball for many years, first as a volunteer with the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), later as three-term Regional Vice President, its Board of Directors and two terms as National President of ASA, and the Nebraska State Softball Commissioner until retiring in 1998. He was founder of the Women's College World Series in 1969, the Nebraska Softball Association, The Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame and Scholarship Program, and Co-Founder of the Nebraska State Games. He served as a member of the United States Olympic House of Delegates, Director of the National Softball Centennial celebration, Director of softball for Explorer Olympics, Chairman of the National ASA Junior Olympic Committee, as a member of the International Softball Federation (ISF), and for twelve years served as the North American Vice-President for the Pan American Softball Games. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Sports Council, the Cornhusker State Games and President of the Nebraska Sports Council. He served as Commander of the West Point American Legion and as Cuming County American Legion Commander, as President of the Fremont Lions Club, as a member of the Dodge County Tourism Council and the Boy Scout Council, member of the Fremont American Legion and the Fremont Fraternal Order of Eagles. He founded the Junior Rifle Club in West Point, Nebraska.
He was honored as an inductee into Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame in 1980, the United States National Hall of Fame in 1986, as an Honorary member of the Indiana ASA Hall of Fame in 1990, and the International (ISF) Hall Of Fame in 2001. He was listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest for outstanding community service, and awarded a life membership in the Nebraska PTA Congress for outstanding service to youth recreation and sports. A seven-field softball complex at Hasting, Nebraska was named “The Bill Smith Softball Complex” honoring his many years of dedication and service to the amateur sports community. He is survived by his wife, Audra, a son, Michael (and wife, Mitzi), LaVista, Nebr. a daughter, Pamela, Columbia, Missouri; Grandchildren; Dana and husband Jason Preble, Michael Jacob Smith, John Paul Smith and wife Angie and nine Great Grand children, all of Omaha; siblings Roger Smith, Washington; Marilyn Rabe, Wisner; Monica Shannon, New Hampshire; and Nancy Gilliam, Louisiana. He was preceded in death, by a daughter, Rochelle Ann, two sisters, Arlene Harrison and Bettie Smith. and brother, Donald Smith. A Memorial service will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, at Moser Memorial Chapel in Fremont. The Rev. Tom Shaw of Church of the Nazarene will officiate. There is no visitation. Memorials may be given to the Omaha Humane Society. A private committal will be at Memorial Cemetery with military honors by the Fremont Honor Guard of V.F.W. Post 854 and American Legion Post 20.