Cover photo for Willis Vernon Smith's Obituary
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Willis Vernon Smith

July 22, 1942 — December 6, 2022

Willis Vernon Smith

Willis Vernon Smith, 80, went to be with his Lord on December 6th, 2022. Willis was born July 22nd, 1942 in Oklahoma City to Louise Julia Smith and Vernon Willis Smith. Willis is survived by his loving spouse of seven years JoAnn Bryant Smith and step daughter Beth Bowman, daughter Shellie Greiner, husband Don and Grandchildren Joe (wife Caroline) and Mary Jesse (fiancé Chris Livernois), and sons Jay Smith (fiancé Kristi Rowley) and Ryan Houston Hensley (husband Chase Hensley). He was preceded in death by infant sister Jo Katherine Smith and grandson Simon Greiner. Willis was a member of Sigma Nu at the University of Oklahoma. His career as a serial entrepreneur began at OU when his sandwich making business grew in to selling/delivering hundreds of meals to the fraternities and dorms every day. He graduated with a pharmacy degree and launched Thrifty Pharmacy and Medical Supply, growing it into several metro OKC locations and eventually into one of the State's largest pharmacy providers to long term care communities. After selling that company, he started Ariel Group International, an importer of auto parts and other products, and Golden Goose Antique mall. In the last few years, he and JoAnn started Eclectix Minerals and Décor. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunting and fishing around the globe, and enjoyed ski trips with his children and friends. Willis was a respected church leader, scoutmaster, philanthropist, businessman and a family man. He led an active life all the way to his last days and was respected for his fair business practices and diligent work ethic. Willis was a self-made man in every sense of the word. He was loved and will be missed by many. Services will be at Smith and Kernke on North May on Friday, December 9th at 11:45am. Memorial gifts may be made to the Fields and Futures Track and Field Program in honor of his grandson Simon.
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