Smith, Billy Dale

April 6, 1939 - July 30, 2020

Billy Dale Smith (Bill), 81, of Dallas, Texas, was called Home to be with his Heavenly Father on July 30, 2020.

Bill was born on April 6, 1939, in Paris, Texas, the eldest child of C. Lawton and Madelyn O. Smith. He grew up in Dallas, Texas, graduating from Sunset High School in 1957. Bill attended Texas Tech University, where he received a dive scholarship in his freshman year; however, with the demand of his studies—and the lack of career opportunities as a diver—he turned in his speedo and turned his attention to architecture. His passion for success and unfailing work ethic earned him a degree in the prescribed five years from the Texas Tech College of Architecture in 1963.

After graduation, Bill returned to Dallas, where he worked for George Dahl, a very distinguished architecture firm. Within a year, he moved to Jarvis Putty Jarvis (later renamed “JPJ”), an impressive new architecture firm. In 1968, Bill was offered the position of firm principal, and in 12 short years was named president of JPJ. Bill’s career was marked by significant accomplishments and countless awards and recognition. He designed numerous high-visibility buildings, including college campus facilities, the Bank of America Plaza (known locally as the ”tall green building,” or sometimes “Gumby”), and the Plano campus of Prestonwood Baptist Church (which Bill referred to drolly as “Fort God”). In 2005, Bill reached the pinnacle of his career when he was awarded the Llewellyn W. Pitts Medal for Lifetime Achievement, the Texas Society of Architects’ highest honor.

Bill had a passion for volunteerism and continuing education. He served on the March of Dimes board and as the president of that organization’s executive committee, on the Greater Dallas Council, and on many different education and hospital boards. He also acted as a mentor through Prestonwood to assist with resume development and job search.

Bill always found time for family, friends, and fun, and cherished those times above everything else. Bill and his family spent countless weekends sailing their 27-foot Catalina on a Dallas-area lake. His love of the water and beaches took him frequently to Hawaii, his favorite destination vacation, although he loved travel in general and toured both Europe and the United States. He also attended Wimbledon and the U.S. Open on several occasions, having developed a love of tennis—and actually going on to win two pro-amateur tournaments—after borrowing a book on tennis from the local library. Bill enjoyed many other sports—as a participant and a spectator—and took up playing golf, but frequently said it was “the most difficult thing I have ever attempted.” He could easily be spotted at the tennis courts or the golf course by his car—he was known for his love of Corvettes, and owned 12 over his lifetime.

Bill was an admired son, brother, father, grandfather, and friend to many. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, good-natured teasing, and quick wit; his wildly entertaining stories; his unwavering love for his country; his breadth of knowledge in many areas; and the wisdom and advice he would share with anyone smart enough to listen.

In his later years, Bill developed a softness his family treasured. During this time, he taught us patience and allowed us to show him a small measure of the service he had long showed all of us.

Bill is survived by his wife, Annette Jones Smith; beloved sons, Brett Smith and wife, Terri, and Clay Smith and wife, Trena; stepdaughters, Melinda Lewis and husband, James, and Deanna Malan and husband, Craig; grandchildren, Jamie Stenman and husband, Jeremie, Chelsea Smith, Josh Smith and fiancée, Ashley Wise, Cooper Smith, and Jessica and Jolie Malan; great-grandchildren, Bransen Pritschow and Blakely and Beckett Stenman; and brother, Jack Smith and wife, Jeanne; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, and a host of friends, mentors, and mentees.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents.

Bill’s legacy will live on through all who had the opportunity to know, love, and be loved by him, and he will be missed tremendously.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate Bill’s life on Monday, August 10, 2:00 p.m., at Faith Chapel, Prestonwood Baptist Church (6801 W. Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093). Due to COVID-19 concerns, masks are required and physical distancing will be practiced during the ceremony to ensure guests’ safety. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Bill’s memory to:

  • Friends Place Adult Day Services, 1960 Nantucket Dr., Richardson, TX 75080
  • Prestonwood Baptist Church, 6801 W. Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093
  • Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601

Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.


Arrangements under the direction of:

Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home

19310 Preston Road

Dallas, Texas 75252

(214) 306-6700

3 replies on “Smith, Billy Dale”

Jim Singleton FAIA says:

Bill you inspired me to be a better architect because you led by example. Thank you! Jim Singleton FAIA

Bill Melton says:

A Great Sunset Bison and renown architect. May God Bless Bill and the Family.

Brenda bradford says:

Always a handsome gentleman. You will be missed.

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