Legendary Miami ILA Leader, Billy C. Smith, Passes Away; Services in Miami Will Be Followed By Funeral on Tuesday in Georgia
Like a ship returning to its home port after that final voyage, it is with sad news that ILA Local 1416 in Miami announces the recent death on Sunday, June 5, 2016 of Mr. Billy C. Smith, 71 years-old, of Miami, Florida. A longtime larger-than-life figure who was a Header/Foreman with over 40-years of diligent service working on the waterfront throughout the Southeast, Smith was the youngest longshoreman ever appointed to a Header position at Local #1416, and went on to serve in that capacity for more than twenty-years.
A one-time Trustee and knowledgeable executive member of Local #1416 who was at that time very active on the Traveling Committee throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, Billy C. Smith was involved in countless decisions of advancement and impressive initiatives on behalf of all union members at Local #1416. A dynamically popular and powerful figure on the docks, “Steel Bill” as he was often called, was the consummate longshoreman who was immensely-adored, widely-respected and thoroughly-supported by everyone from common longshoremen to ILA leaders throughout the Southeast and Gulf Coast region, as well as influential maritime shipping company executives who often tapped him for his keen advice and suggestions. The devoted gentle giant of a family-loving man was known as being a very no-nonsense and principled grassroots-advocating man who stood up for the rights (at every level) of those who could not, or would not, speak up for themselves and/or others. And, as a result, it earned him a countless following of loyal supporters and faithful friends throughout the world. The entire International Longshoremen’s Association family has truly lost one of our greatest members.
A public viewing for Mr. Billy C. Smith held on Thursday in Miami.
The funeral/burial for Mr. Billy C. Smith will take place in his boyhood hometown of Jesup, Georgia on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at:
Emory Chapel United Methodist Church,
311 North Hickory Street
Jesup, Georgia 31546
Burial will follow at Pine Crest Cemetery in Jesup, Georgia.