Cover photo for William Morgan Smith's Obituary
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1985 William 2024

William Morgan Smith

January 3, 1985 — January 31, 2024

Farmville, VA

William Morgan Smith III, 39 of Buckingham, Virginia, died unexpectedly on

January 31, 2024.

Morgan was born on January 3, 1985, to Robin Davidson Smith and William

Morgan Smith II in Richmond, Virginia. After Morgan graduated from Buckingham

County High School in 2003, he studied political science at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated in 2007.

Morgan had a wonderful smile, and when he was up to mischief, he couldn’t hide

it. There would be a twinkle in his eye, a grin on his face, and finally, he would

burst out laughing. He was an extraordinary father, son, brother, and friend with

a soft spot for little old ladies. As a child, Morgan developed a love of the

outdoors and a sense of adventure from exploring the land around his childhood

home. His love of animals had many outlets in the steady stream of strays and the

copious Smith family pet menagerie–cats, dogs, fish, parakeets, hamsters, a

ferret, and the occasional amphibian or reptile, including Clyde, the school boa

constrictor who went AWOL while visiting for the summer. No hay loft was too

high, no creeks too muddy, or stray hunting dogs too smelly. Morgan grew from a

shy, sweet little boy to one who honed his storytelling and debate skills and

exhibited a penchant for mischief.

During his years at VCU, Morgan consistently lent a helping hand to friends—or

strangers—and was fiercely loyal to those in his circle. He was the go-to guy for

refinishing floors, learning self-defense, sharing hard truths, and going on epic

adventures. He discovered a love for building as a practical and creative outlet for

his energy, and he shared that love with friends by involving them in projects.

Morgan’s degree in political science solidified his disillusionment with the

American political system and drove him to lean on a skillset that brought him

peace and a sense of accomplishment—building with his hands. He took pride in

his work, no matter how seemingly inconsequential the task. He was a

perfectionist. This particular calling also allowed Morgan to tap into another

skillset—telling other people what to do. He liked to call it management.  

Between football, skate-boarding, building, and rambunctious stunts, his body

took a beating. His spleen ruptured after being sacked during a football game his

junior year. Who knows how many times he was concussed? In 2015, he cut off

his left thumb and two fingers with a miter saw while helping out a friend who

had in-laws coming for Thanksgiving but had ordered the wrong sized door for the

bathroom. He had presence of mind enough to call the rescue squad, wrap his

digits, and put them on ice in his cooler.

Morgan’s building experience led him to teaching building trades at Buckingham

Vocational Center and later Cumberland High School. As a teacher, he instilled a

sense of pride and ownership in his students’ work as they learned basic skills and

engaged in community service projects like building nest boxes to support the

bluebird population or adding accessibility ramps to private homes. He also

worked as an assistant coach for the schools’ football teams.   

Morgan and his wife, Samantha, married in 2015 and had one child, Henry

Morgan Smith. Henry is a mini-Morgan: They share a love of the outdoors,

animals, adventures, and telling rambling stories.  

Morgan was predeceased by his father, William Morgan Smith II. He is survived by

his son, Henry Morgan Smith; his wife, Samantha Gowin Smith; his step daughter,

Alexandria Isabel Ragland; his mother, Robin Davidson Smith; his sisters, Kathryn

Smith Hopgood (Adam) of Melbourne, Australia, and Elizabeth Meriwether

Riddick (Phes) of Virginia Beach; nieces and nephews, Eva and Ryker Hopgood,

William and Vivien Riddick; Archie, Cookie, Peck Peck, the porch possum, and

Henry’s assorted array of other chickens and feral cats.  

Morgan’s ashes will be interred at Grace Episcopal Church, 60 Ca Ira Rd,

Cumberland, Saturday, Feb. 17 at noon. (Note: Use 60 Ca Ira Road for GPS

location, not 47 as their website states.) A memorial service will follow at 2pm at

Johns Memorial Episcopal Church, 400 High Street, Farmville.

 

In lieu of flowers, honor Morgan and console his family by supporting the one he

loved best in this world: his son, Henry. Morgan was adamant that Henry get the

best education possible—and if you knew Morgan, you know how obdurate he

could be about anything! The Henry Morgan Smith Fund will be put in a trust to

support Henry’s education. There are two ways you can contribute:

Mail your check to the Henry Morgan Smith Fund 300562491 at Benchmark

Community Bank (BCB), PO Box 246, Farmville VA 23901.

Send money to his GoFundMe account, which goes to his BCB fund: https://gofund.me/7b09f551.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Morgan Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Burial

Saturday, February 17, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery

60 Ca Ira Rd, Cumberland, VA

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, February 17, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

John's Memorial Episcopal Church

400 High Street, Farmville, VA 23901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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