William "Bill" Smerika 1930–2020 International Falls, MN—William "Bill" Nick Smerika, of International Falls, passed away on July 31, 2020 at Rainy Lake Medical Center. Bill was born in International Falls July 1, 1930, the only child of Nick and Elizabeth (Palynchick) Smerika, immigrants from Ukraine. On July 27, 1957 Bill married Helen Jean Hegvik in Kenyon, MN. In 1948 Bill graduated from International Falls High School and was a three sport athlete competing in football, baseball and basketball. Bill was also a member of the Falls Mando semi-pro baseball team. In 1953 Bill graduated from St Olaf College with degrees in Sociology and History. He served two years in the Army and attained the rank of Corporal by the time of his honorable discharge in 1955. Bill then taught history in the Littlefork school district and was also their head basketball coach. In 1958 Bill went to work for Boise Cascade in various personnel positions, retiring as Human Resource Manager in 1991. Bill is survived by his wife Helen, children Katherine Bracken (Patrick), Stephen (Jill), grandchildren Molly Smerika, Samantha Smerika (Paul Rouhselang), Alexandra Bracken (Joshua Kirton), Natalie Grafft (Ryan), Sophie Bracken and great granddaughter Evelyn Grafft. Bill was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, The Elks and Falls Country Club. Bill enjoyed world travel and spending his winter months on Marco Island, FL. He was an avid golfer, bowler, reader and bridge player. He was also a catalyst for spirited discussions around the dinner table with family and friends. The family would like to thank the staff at Good Samaritan for the professional care Bill received during his stay. Memorials are preferred to Zion Lutheran Church or Falls Education Foundation/ Purple Pride. Due to Covid-19, there will be no services held at this time. Condolences may be left at www.greenlarsen.com Arrangements are with the Green-Larsen Mortuary, Inc.
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