William Lacy “Bill” Smith
William Lacy “Bill” Smith, 77, of Orange Park, passed peacefully at home and joined our Lord on September 14, 2020 after a long struggle with emphysema. He was born April 15, 1943 to Auby Madison Smith and Melvalene Faulk Smith in Jacksonville, Ala. He was a loving, caring father and husband.
After graduating high school at Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, where his family was stationed, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy at Great Lakes NTC in November 1962, serving 26 years as jet engine mechanic and maintenance training instructor attaining the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.
His many tours of duty included helicopter rescue crewman making numerous shipboard deployments during the Vietnam era, NAS Kingsville,TX; VF-14, Oceana, VA, transitioning to F-14 Tomcats; COMCAR Airwing 12, aboard USS John F. Kennedy, CV-67; crew chief on EC-121K “Super Connies” at VAQ-33, Key West, FL; HS-4 Black Knights, San Diego, CA; COMCAR Airwing 15 CAG Maintenance Chief aboard USS Carl Vinson, CVN-76 (around the world cruise); finishing his Navy career at NAMTRAGRU, Norfolk, VA in July 1987.
After his retirement, Bill’s love for the Navy led him to employment with the Naval Air Depot (NADEP), NAS Jacksonville, FL (currently Fleet Readiness Center). During 25 years there he was promoted from aircraft maintenance tech to Maintenance Training Leader for FA-18, P-3 and other Navy and Marine Corps aircraft; TAD to Naval Weapon Center, China Lake, CA for two years of Instructor duty at Aircraft Battle Damage Repair School; team member for NADEPs Project Golden Wing; Program Manager for Tire and Wheel maintenance safety until retirement in July 2013.
Bill was an avid fan of the Florida State Seminoles for over 30 years and followed NASCAR religiously, attending races at Daytona and on several occasions, volunteered for pit crew security, a thrilling “up close” experience. He was an active member of Gateway Rifle and Pistol Club, Jacksonville for 22 years and excelled in competition rifle shooting. As Rangemaster for IR 50/50 Rimfire Benchrest shooters, he organized the 3-day Crawfish Shoot every April for 20 years, attracting participants from all over the southeast and midwest.
He regularly attended matches in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee, winning many with his light “sporter” rifle and heavy gun, aptly named “Seminole Wind”.
He was Shooter of the Year in Florida and Georgia several years in a row, and attended the Nationals at Kettlefoot Gun Club, Bristol, TN annually. When Kettlefoot hosted the International matches for three consecutive years, Bill made the USA team every year.
In 2019 he finally reached his goal of making the “Gold Hall of Fame”. Over the years he formed many lasting friendships with other shooters through his likeable spirit and his willingness to help others improve their shooting skills.
Bill is survived by his wife and soul-mate of 33 years, Carol McIntosh Smith; son Eric Smith of Portland, OR and daughter Kimberley Sprenger of Missoula, MT; brothers Thomas R. (Peggy) and Gerald M. (Angie) of Callahan, FL and Joel L. (Paula) of Leavenworth, KS; grandsons Austin (Alyssa) Sprenger of New York City and Tiernan Neely Smith of Portland, OR; nephews Timothy (Sondra) Smith, Grant (Natalie) Smith, Mark Smith, Brooks Smith, Jeremy Wright and great-niece Sloan Smith; step-daughters Pamela Mercer of Middleburg, FL, Diana Lane Rios of Houston, TX and Julie Clayton of Katy, TX; step-grandson Alex Heard of Hermiston, OR, Ryan Heard (Samantha) of Orange Park, FL, Bryan Lane of Houston, TX, Justin Matthiesen of Katy, TX and Robert Rios II of Houston, TX; great-granddaughter Cami Rapoza and great-grandson Lucas Heard both of Orange Park, FL; and many cousins, aunts and uncles.
He was predeceased by his parents, sister-in-law Linda Kay Duckworth, step-daughter Lisa Kay Davis and infant great-granddaughter Aubrey Alexis Heard.
Interment will be held at the Jacksonville National Cemetery on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 12:30 p.m., Lane 1. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at Orange Park United Methodist Church where Bill and Carol were long-time members.
Holly Hill Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 3601 Old Jennings Road, Middleburg, FL 32068, is serving the family.
Please visit hollyhillfunerals.com to leave online condolences for the family.
Joan Welch, 84, of Jacksonville FL., passed away September 20, 2020 to be with our Savior Jesus and daughter Cheryl.
She was born February 25th, 1936 in New York. She was a resident of Jacksonville for many years.
Joan loved spending time with her family and taking care of them as well as her friends who were once strangers and gave them refuge when needed.
She loved and cared for all of God’s creatures great and small, singing, and Art.
She is survived by her son Bill (Kathy) Anderson, grandchildren Melissa, Tommy. Son in law John (Rachel) LaDavia, grandchildren Brandon, Alexis (Travis), John III (Kelley), Ashley (Kyle), Joseph, Christian. Great grandchildren Aiden, Izic, Jeffrey, Shylinne, and her dear friend Karen Napier.
Joan inspired us all with her courage and self- giving heart of gold to all as well as strangers.
Our hearts will be reunited again soon.
Albert Earl Graybrook
Albert Earl Graybrook was born August 29, 1928 and died on October 7, 2020, at the age of 92. Born to Ralph and Marie Graybrook in Lexington, KY, Al moved to New Albany, IN at age 16.
He is survived by his wife Clarice and their children Michael (Donna Kell), Lisa Stewart, and Dina (Tom) Helock; grandchildren Amanda, Jenna, Sara, Steven, Michael, and Laura; and five great grandchildren.
After meeting Clarice at New Albany High School, Al immediately told his mother that he had met the love of his life. He was right - Al and Clarice celebrated their 72nd anniversary this year.
During his 25+ years at US Steel Architectural Research Division, Al was involved in the construction of the Unisphere at the 1964 World’s Fair and the Contemporary Hotel at Disney Orlando. A talented draftsman and architectural designer, after leaving US Steel he freelanced and worked with his son Michael for ten years.
Al’s career took his family from New Albany, IN, to Camp Hill, PA, to Murrysville, PA, and finally to Fleming Island, FL. Along the way, Al collected many dear friends and always enjoyed a good party. Whether lounging at Lake Wallenpaupack, traveling the world, flying his model airplanes, or hanging out with his golfing buddies, Al thoroughly embraced life.
Al shared his positive attitude and goodness within each community he called home. He was a past president of the Murrysville Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. As an Elder at Orange Park Presbyterian Church, Al was instrumental in renovating the sanctuary and designing and constructing the Memory Garden. His ashes will be interred there during a private family ceremony on October 24.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Memorial Fund of Orange Park Presbyterian Church are appreciated.
Mikayla Lynn Charise Placzkowski
Mikayla Lynn Charise Placzkowski (16) was born July 27, 2004 to Angel and Amy in Orange Park, Florida.
She was called to heaven Oct. 5, 2020 after complications from asthma.
KK as she was called by all who loved her was funny, spirited, passionate and loving. She was wise beyond her years. She was looking forward to attending culinary school and had a passion for music and art which is why she always had a sketch pad nearby.
Mikayla leaves behind her loving mother and father, Angel E. Placzkowski Sr. and Amy (Foster) Caryl. Stepmother Amanda Holmes and stepfather Mark Caryl. Her brothers, Angel E Placzkowski Jr and Xavier G. C. Placzkowski. Her grandparents Anthony and Vivian Placzkowski, Robert Foster (Charise Foster) and Lynn Wisswell, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
She will be missed from Florida to Michigan and back!