Peacefully at Blenheim Community Village, with Jake and Sherrie by his side on Sunday, January 9, 2022, formerly of Exeter, just shy of his 98th birthday. Beloved husband for over 50 years of the late Mary (Toussaint) Smits (2005). Loving father of Jake Smits and Sherrie Lampman-Smits, and Rob Smits. Proud grandpa of Tim, and Adam, and Opa of Payton, and Mckenzie. Fondly remembered by cousins and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Regnerus and Tecla, brothers Ben, Dirk, Henk, and Jan and sister, Tinie.
Bill will be remembered for the love he shared with his family and friends, his love of gardening, but most of all, his passion for soccer. It took a lot of convincing from Mary for Bill to hang up his cleats at the age of 54, but he was still able to sneak in the odd game in his 70’s, 80’s and when he turned 90. After playing, he shared his passion with the younger generation as “the coach”.
A private family funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 13th at 11 AM. Interment Exeter Cemetery. Though the service is private, the family invites you to join with them from the comfort of your home. Stream the service live or at your convenience by visiting www.facebook.com/haskettfh.
Donations to South Huron Hospital Foundation would be appreciated by the family.
I have fond memories of Bill and Mary. Wonderful couple who who were at my husband and my wedding almost 30 years ago. So kind and caring. Bill is now with his beloved Mary and in our Heavenly Fathers kingdom.
My deepest condolences to the family.
To the Smit Family,
It is with sadness that I read about Bill’s passing. I got to know Bill really well as I gave him rides to Probus and home. He was an interesting man to talk with on many topics. He kiddingly would call me his girlfriend. I believe it was Rob that I taught in kindergarten at Usbourne Central school many years ago. God’s peace to you.
It was sad to hear about Bill’s passing. I have fond memories of visits and pear and apple picking
My sincerest condolences on your loss.
I came to know Bill through our mutual interest in “The Beautiful Game” when I moved to Exeter in 1978 and played for the Centennials.
He was always a great resource when I moved to coaching and we had many a conversation later in life as we both watched the younger Exeter players.
He was a great man and an inspiration to many.
Earl and Kathy Keller
Bill will be greatly missed! You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Jake and Rob,
So sad to hear of Dad’s passing. Your Mom and Dad were good friends of our parents Cathy and Theo Sentjens. We remember the fun times you would all visit. Lots of laughter filled the house. He will be missed by many!
Helen Legg (Sentjens)
Philippe & Janet Maes
Our deepest condolence to you all at this difficult time.
We have many fond memories of Bill! Bill was always there with his biggest smile at church saying hello to everyone.
Rest in Peace Bill now your with your love one Mary.
Sharon and Jim O’Toole
Jake , Sherrie and Rob, we send our condolences on the loss of your dear dad. We always looked forward to a warm hello from Bill each Sunday. Always he exuded such joy and remembered everyone’s names, even members of our family he hadn’t seen in years . He was truly a fixture at Previous Blood Church.
He will be missed.
Sincere sympathy on the loss of your dad
Him and my dad (Milt Sweitzer) worked together at Dashwood Industries.
He would always say they were best friends
We had so many great talks about the “old days” when I visited my mom at the Exeter Villa
Sometimes there were tears but lots of laughs and joking also.
He was a wonderful man and I will always remember his smile and hugs
Jack and Rob,
My sincere condolences on the death of your father. He was a good man. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Our sincerest condolences on Bill’s passing. We have known Bill for many years he was a friend of my uncle Bill and aunt Jannie. And a friend of my aunt Rika and every time we where in Canada he came to visit us. Rest in peace.
We are the Zoutman family from Netherlands.
To Bill’s family,
Although I don’t recall meeting you unless it was at a Dashwood Industry event or at a church function, I knew your mom & dad for many, many years. We said so long when your dad moved from Exeter not so long ago. And now we say so long until we meet again in our spiritual world. Your parents were always so kind to me, always had time for a chat. A life well lived, eager to help & share family news. Oh yes, along with his soccer enthusiasm 😊. Thinking of you as you celebrate his legacy.
So sorry to hear of your loss of a gentle, smiling man. I haven’t seen Bill in a long time, but was always a friendly fellow. My sympathy to you all
Sincerely Liz (Giffin)
Our sympathies and condolences on Bill’s passing. Always remembered fondly when growing up and for his gardening and soccer passions. Sitting at Tim Hortons with a gang of people always brought a smile to your face
Chris and Dawn
Wim v Schie
Dear Jake and Rob and family my condolences to your father Bill.
Bill (Wim) was my godfather in the Netherlands I have beautiful memories of my uncle in my younger years, we also kept in touch when your parents emigrated to Canada.
His love for football has also stayed with me.
My deepest condolences on the loss of Bill and may the wonderful memories comfort you.
Wim&Ans van Schie and Family
George and Sue Wilson
Bill’s family, heartfelt condolences on your loss of your dear Dad and Grandpa. Bill was a very friendly man. He and your Mom lived down the street from us. Cherish your precious memories. You are in our thoughts and prayers. George and Sue Wilson
Rochelle & Lee Gibbings and family
My sincerest condolences on the passing of Bill. We will always think of him fondly for the warm smiles and friendly greetings at church every Sunday. May your memories comfort you. He will be missed.
Bill & Juanita Ryan
Our deepest sympathies on Bill’s passing. Meet him thru our mutual love for soccer. Loved our chats about the game and my kids will forever miss visiting him as he always had a box of smarties for them
A very kind man with a beautiful soul, a firecracker at times but that beautiful smile would make you melt, I’ll miss you buddy, have a shot of tequila for both of us!
To his dear family, he spoke of you often and the love he had for all of you, rest easy he is at peace now.
Ian and Andrea Chisholm
Our sincerest condolences on Bill’s passing. I had the pleasure of getting to know Bill through the Exeter football club. Every Friday night and over many seasons we shared the game and many good laughs. RIP Bill.
Dear Jake and Sherri and family
So sorry for your loss. We have so many fond memories of Bill . He always made my day whenever we had a chat. He will be missed.
The Gehan Family
Dear Jake and Rob
I was very saddened to learn of your Father’s passing. He was one of the kindest and most welcoming individuals I have ever known as was your Mother, Mary.
You boys were very young when we moved to our home in Exeter across the road from you. Although our stay in Exeter was short the bond of friendship your parents extended never left me. I have wonderful memories of Bill’s love of soccer, his humour, the wonderful gifts of veggies from his garden, visits while we were neighbours and after we left Exeter with your family, your parents’ siblings who often visited from Holland.
Please accept my sincerest sympathy. It is my hope that you and your families find comfort and solace from the wonderful memories you no doubt have of your Father and the knowledge that Bill now rests in peace in heaven with his beloved Mary.
XO Gay Waters (formerly McMeekin)
I first met dear Bill at DI. Always cheerful and always had a warm greeting and friendly smile for all he met. We then became team mates on the local soccer scene. Would have loved to have seen Bill’s immense talent when he played top level football in Holland.
A Exeter soccer legend indeed! What a special feeling to help facilitate Bill’s dream of getting back on the pitch, in a proper match in so many decades.
A very kind and sweet man who had a full life.
I am so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I first met Bill and Mary in 2001 when Mary had broken her shoulder and became a patient of mine. I was her massage therapist and assisted with her rehab. They were a beautiful couple and his love and adoration for her were so very evident. He was her biggest cheerleader. We remained in contact for many years. I always looked for him at Tim Hortons in the mornings when he would be there with his coffee club. He always came over to chat after church service and for many years I would receive a call from him on my Birthday. When I got married and had children I would take them to visit him at the Villa. I was sad to lose track of him when he left the Villa. He was a very special man, one of the kindest and sweetest I have ever met. He was a gentle soul who made friends wherever he went. I am sadden to hear he has left us, but know he is finally back with his Sweetheart, Mary. RIP Bill. Xo
Condolences to the family at this time.
I always enjoyed coming into work to see his smile. “Opa” was always such a kind, gentle and funny man.
He will be remembered by all.
I was reading the name Bill Smits and the first thing that came to my mind was soccer.
Bill was such a friendly man. He would always talk when I was walking by.
So sorry for your loss.
Diane Stephen (McCarter)
Sorry to hear of Bills passing. A very kind thoughtful man always thinking of others. He will be missed by many. Keep your many memories close at this sad time! JoAnne Picking
Linda (Fleming) Ferguson
Our paths didn’t cross often, but when able we always enjoyed a reminiscing chat with Bill.
Your parents kindness and thoughtful visits with our mother in her final days meant the world to us.
Our sincere condolences.
The Fleming Family
What a amazing life he had. It always put a smile on my face when Tony would bring him to our games. He would cheer/yell at us on the soccer field, and would give us some pointers on the game and what we should be doing better. He would also tell lots of interesting stories about his life. He had a true zest/appreciation for life. His soccer family will miss him.
Al annd Vickie Harvey
Sorry to hear of Bill passing
John and Tracy Van Gerwen
To all in Bill’s family,
We remember Bill very fondly from our many years in Exeter. Bill was always smiling, always enthusiastic, and always there to greet us at church on Sunday mornings. He and Mary were both great examples to our whole family of what it means to live life to the fullest and bring joy to others. Rest in peace Bill, you will be missed.
John and Tracy Van Gerwen and family
Joe and Pauline Hogan
We are saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. He was a valued member at Precious Blood Church until he became I’ll. We all missed his sense of humour and friendly smile when he moved. He was a great man and was so proud of his family. Bill was also a charter member of the Exeter Probus Club and always enjoyed coming to meetings.. RIP Bill.
Lloyd and Carol Moore
Our deepest sympathy to the family. We have a lot of good memories from Anne Street. Bill and Mary were great neighbours.
Christie & Dale Allen, Dominick & Dylan Masse
What a life Bill! We celebrate a man that blessed everyone with his presence. As a young girl going to PBS I would pass his house with a friendly hello each morning. And then many years later my boys did the same. Dominick and Dylan grew close to him and he always referred to them as “his boys”. Rest easy friend.
Jake & Sherrie, Rob, & all Bill’s family;
My sincere condolences in the passing of your dear Father, Grandpa and Opa. Bill was the epitome of “happy-go-lucky”! He was always wearing a friendly smile and would light up anyone’s day that he’d bump into. I got to know Bill & Mary first as valued customers and then as wonderful neighbours down Carling Street. We had many memorable visits together. Rest In Peace Bill.
Mark Heimrich (Lifetime Water Products)
Karen L Brown
My condolences to Bill’s family. As a former neighbour when Bill lived in Exeter, my children and I saw Bill on our daily walks to school and always had a good chat. In later years Bill would wave from his garden or his lawn chair as I walked by with my dog. He always had a smile and a few words for everyone. Bill was one of those people I looked forward to seeing for a moment every day. He was missed when he moved away but now I know he will be content reunited with Mary. RIP Bill.
With a wave and a smile, Karen L Brown
Ron and Marlene Moore
Dear Jake , Rob and all the family , Sending our sympathy and Prayers , We remember Bill fondly as a kind loving husband , father and good friend and how devoted he was to Precious Blood School and Church . Your friends from Exeter Ron and Marlene Moore ( Melissa and Shawn your old school mates )
Marilyn and Allan Riley
Our condolences to the family worked with Bill for years at DI
Tony and Lisa Vandenheuvel and family
Our condolences on the passing of your father. Bill made quite a few trips to our farm for a visit and to reminisce about all things “soccer”. Our kids used love his stories and looked forward to him making an appearance at their games when they played against Exeter. He will be missed by many, a true soccer legend!
Sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope you were able to spend time with him. He was a great guy.
Our warmest condolences to the Smits family on the tremendous loss of Bill.
Such a great man and a pleasure to have many chats with over the years.
He will be missed but remembered fondly by many for a long time.
Darren, Denise, Kayleigh & Sean Boyle
My husband and I got to know Bill at Dashwood Ind. we always enjoyed his company at work or at Tim Horton’s RIP Bill you had a good life.
My sincerest condolences on Bill’s passing. We were neighbours of Bill’s until he moved to the Villa and then to Blenheim, and have thought of him fondly and often in the years since. He will be remembered as such a warm, friendly gentleman who always had a smile, time for a chat and treats for the kids in the neighbourhood.
Bill was a wonderful man, always a generous neighbour and great with our daughters, spoiling them with smarties and jellybeans. He lived a full an interesting life. Blessed to have known him.
Condolences to your family,
Stephanie and Tim
Kim and Adam Hern & family
We are very sorry to hear about Bill’s passing. He was a wonderful neighbour and always took the time to come over for a visit. My young daughters loved hearing his stories and had a special place for him in their hearts. He will be deeply missed.
so sad to hear, bill was my neighbour for a long time here in exeter, he always came over and brought us goodies. Whenever i needed help with something bill would always be there right away. Bill was the sweetest and kindest man i knew, when he moved to the exeter villa, he still remembered to send me and my sisters birthday cards with a pack of smarties, bill will be missed , so lucky i got to know someone like bill.
Bill ‘s Family;
Thinking of you at this time, Bill was a great Guy,
I worked with him at Dashwood Industries,For many years
& later saw him at our Prubus meetings,
RIP Bill You now will be with Your Darling Mary.