William S. “Bill” Collinsworth, Jr. age 72, of Elida, Ohio died unexpectedly, Friday, December 23, 2022.
Born in Aultman Hospital at Canton, on July 8, 1950, Bill was a son of the late William S. and Hazel (Williams) Collinsworth.
Shortly after his graduation in 1969 from Tusky Valley High School, Bill was drafted into the United States Army and sent to Vietnam where he was wounded twice. On February 28, 1971, Bill’s unit took on heavy fire and the tank he was driving took a hit from an RPG. As a result of the attack, Bill suffered multiple injuries to his leg and hip. Once he was stabilized, he was sent to Okinawa, Japan, and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained while serving. After Japan, Bill was sent to Fort Knox for recovery and later was assigned to become a trainer in Texas prior to leaving the service.
On Christmas Eve of 1973, Bill married Wendy Smitley. Together the couple had one daughter. Days after celebrating their 45th Anniversary, Wendy preceded Bill in death on December 29, 2018.
Professionally Bill worked for the Ford Motor Company Lima Engine Plant for 28 years as a Hi-Lo Driver. Always the life of the party, Bill could spin a tale and tell a story like no other. He loved entertaining, and playing games, especially Tonk, Tri-Ominos, and Farkle. Bill also loved keeping his yard in immaculate condition, riding his motorcycle, and taking extended road trips on his bike. Bill never shied away from tackling a DIY project and would try anything once. A failed attempt at fixing his mother-in-law’s dishwasher ended with soapy water all over the kitchen. He quickly learned that using dish soap was not the best idea. Above all, Bill adored his family and grandchildren. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for them.
He will be deeply missed by his daughter, Tressa (Timothy) O’Dell of Elida, Ohio; his siblings, Doug (Yoni) Collinsworth of Louisville, and Chuck (Lynda Cosgrove) Collinsworth of Massillon, a sister-in-law, Deb Smitley of New Philadelphia; his mother-in-law, Harriet “Mama” Smitley-Kuhn of Dover; his beloved grandchildren, Gwennyth and Annalise Gatchel and Lexus and Makai Lopez; his companion, Diane Mitchem of Elida, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, Bill was preceded in death by an infant brother, Robert Collinsworth; a sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Robert Beck; his father-in-law, David Smitley; a brother-in-law, Jesse Smitley, and a brother and sister-in-law, Larry and Sheila Smitley.
The family will greet guests during a memorial gathering on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM in the Geib Funeral Center at Dover where Pastor Dan Wigton will lead a service with military honors at 6:00 PM. A meal and fellowship will follow the service in the Hospitality Room of the Dover Geib Center. Cremation care was provided by Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home.
A second gathering for Lima friends and family will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2023, in the UAW Local 1219, 1750 Bible Rd., Lima, OH 45801 beginning at 4:30 PM.
Memorial contributions in Bill’s name may be directed to the Wounded Warrior Foundation, P.O. Box 758516 Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516.