Decatur Smith, affectionately known as Bodie, beloved husband, father, fun-loving grandfather, brother and uncle passed away on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 following a brief illness; he was 75 years old. He was born in Eudora, Arkansas on December 25, 1945 to the union of Willie Mack and Pearl (Holloway) Smith; they preceded him in death.
Bodie along with his parents and siblings relocated to South Bend, Indiana. As a youth he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. He was a 1963 graduate of Washington High School where he was a varsity football and track athlete. He was a proud Washington Panther alumnus and was always proud to say there were three generations of Panthers in the family. As an alumnus he often stopped by the school to say hello and conduct random “checkups” on his children and grandchildren. After graduating high school Decatur completed trade school and went to work at White Farm Equipment. He later secured employment at the South Bend Community School Corporation. He retired from the school corporation as a Journeyman and Plumber/Steamfitter. He was a life time member of the AFSCME Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 172.
In his spare time, Decatur loved to watch athletic competitions. He was an avid supporter of local high school athletic programs and could be found in the stands at School Field under the “Friday Night Lights.” He had a bag of popcorn and wearing one of his many baseball caps or casual hats cheering on players. He played softball and basketball on numerous local teams sponsored by the City of South Bend’s Park Department as well as teams sponsored by his employers. Decatur loved to gather his family and friends around one of his many self-made “barrel” barbeque pits. Many hours were spent laughing and having fun while he grilled his legendary steaks and ribs with his secret sauce; and of course no gathering was complete without a slice of his mom’s coconut cake that he had mastered the baking. You could often find him sitting on the porch smiling and waving hello to neighbors and friends who passed by.
Bodie leaves to cherish his loving memory his wife, Beatrice Smith; a brother, John Robert Smith both of South Bend; his children, William (and Natia) Bryant of Indianapolis, Indiana; Derrick (and Casaundra) Smith of Louisville, Kentucky; Sonya (and Kelvin) Wilson, Karla (and Tommy) Lee also of South Bend; Michael Smith of Indianapolis; Gina Graham of Dallas, Texas; Sean Smith also of Indianapolis; Nicole Foley and Valerie Causey both also of South Bend; Elder Willie (and Anjanette) Rogers of Indianapolis and a sister-in-law Laura Allen of South Bend; 31 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren; two special caregivers, Thomas Hyde and Larry Perry, along with a host of nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.
Along with his parents Bodie was also preceded in death by his father-in-law Robert Hall; a sister Helen Godwin; a brother in-law John Wesley Godwin, a brother Willie Mack Smith Jr., and a son Jade Smith.
His life and legacy will live on in the hearts of family and close friends.
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