BONIFAY - The community is mourning the passing of former educator and local newspaper legacy Dianne Williams Smith.
Smith, who passed away Sunday at age 80, was a 1955 graduate of Holmes County High School. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Florida State University, Smith would eventually move back to her hometown of Bonifay after marrying the love of her life, Orren R. Smith. Dianne's passing came just one day after the two-year anniversary of the passing of her beloved Orren.
As an educator, Smith touched the lives of thousands of local students, serving at both Vernon High School and Holmes County High School until her retirement in 2000.
But service to community was nothing new to Smith's heritage. With Orren at her side, she would become the fourth generation of the Williams family to operate the Holmes County Times-Advertiser, then named the Holmes County Advertiser. Smith's ancestor, W.D. Williams, founded the publication in 1892, establishing the newspaper at old Cerro Gordo, which was then the county seat. The Advertiser would then remain with the Williams family for about 89 years until the Smiths sold the paper in 1981.
Smith will be remembered Wednesday, September 20, at the First United Methodist Church of Bonifay, first with visitation at 9:30 a.m., followed by funeral services at 11 a.m.
In keeping with Smith's love of learning and her community, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the First United Methodist Church of Bonifay or the Holmes County Public Library.