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  • Harold Bing Smith

Harold Bing Smith


Harold Bing Smith, called Daddy by his daughters and Bing by his other family and friends, died Tuesday, Dec. 26, in Corsicana.

He was a gentle man with a quick wit and ever-ready sense of humor, much loved by his three daughters, three sisters, and many grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He was always there if anyone needed a hand, and he seemed to know when to call and ask, “How are you doing?”

Travel was one of his favorite activities. He served in the U.S. Army in the United States, Germany, and Korea. He loved road trips and once drove the 4,000-mile perimeter of Texas as well as Route 66 from Texas to California.

He visited St. Barth once with his sisters and spent most of his time reading tombstones at historic cemeteries, learning the names of all the French families going back centuries.

Despite family hardships Bing never complained, and he never shared those stories. Instead, he read countless books—all nonfiction— and shared in great detail real stories about real people. He could recall the dates, places, and names of colorful and not-so-colorful historical figures and events, and he was especially knowledgeable about Native American and war history.

Genealogy was another favorite interest, and he used multiple genealogy sites to track down long-lost relatives. Bing was indeed the encyclopedia and historian for the family, and when the 1900s Littlejohn House was rebuilt at the Freestone County Historical Museum, he was the one who pored over difficult- to-decipher manuscripts from archival records to ensure the accuracy of the Littlejohn/ Shanks history.

Although he could have been a doctor, for he knew as much about the interaction of chemicals and the vulnerabilities of the body as many medical experts do, his career was in the chemical lab. He worked for more than 20 years in the chemical industry in Houston, and he taught PhDs how to do their jobs, even though he was a high school graduate.

Bing loved restoring and driving his 1986 Chevy pickup, and he was an excellent auto mechanic in his spare time. In the 60s, when Bing was a teenager, he was the proud owner of a 45-record player and played Little Richard, Elvis, Fats Domino, and other rock ‘n roll legends.

Most of all, Bing loved being with family and friends— the more the merrier, whether for birthdays, reunions, holidays, any excuse would do— and he was always the life of the party, laughing and making sure everyone was enjoying the occasion.

Bing is survived by his daughters, Gina Martin of Fairfield and Lana Hager and Hillery Biddy of Corsicana; sisters Sherry Matthews and Nancy Norman of Austin and Susan Hodges of Georgetown; and his dear friend Peggy Williamson of Pasadena. His sons-in-law include Jason Hager, Randy Martin, and Chris Biddy of Waco.

His grandchildren include Chance Robinson, Cheyenne Robinson, Lauren Hager, Kainoa Perez, Lili Biddy, and Liam Biddy. His great grandchildren include Lyndsay Robinson, Clara Robinson, and Zoe Robinson. His nieces and nephews include Brent and Keri Castles of Georgetown and Sierra Norman ofAustin. His former wives include Venita Wills, who preceded him in death, and Kay Hardy of Grapeland.

Bing was born Sept. 22, 1942, in San Francisco to Vivian Smith Claridge from Teague and Harold Smith from Madill, Oklahoma. His parents and brothers, Donald Lanier Smith of New York City and Jack Smith of Houston, preceded him in death.

His grandparents, A.O. and Minnie Collins and Jack and Ida Smith, preceded him in death.

Services were held at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home in Fairfield. Burial was in the Shanks Memorial Cemetery near Teague.

Contributions may be made in Bing’s name to the Freestone County Historical Museum or the Shanks Memorial Cemetery.

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Mexia News

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