William Brent Smith, age 71, passed away unexpectedly at his home on June 30, 2018. Brent was a long-time resident of Niceville, FL and was a member of the Niceville Church of Christ. He was born in Gadsden, AL on March 10, 1947 and spent most of his early years in his beloved community of Hokes Bluff.
Brent was a member of the 1965 class at Gadsden High School. From there he attended the University of Alabama, receiving his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1970. Having been in ROTC, he then entered pilot training in the USAF, and proudly served his country for 12 years. He flew the F-4 during the Vietnam War based at DaNang, Vietnam and Takli, Thailand. After serving several years as an F-4 instructor pilot, he attended the Air Force Institute of Technology, earning his M.S. in Aerospace Engineering. His final active duty assignment was flying with the F-5 Aggressors, based at Nellis AFB, NV.
In 1982 he began his engineering service at Eglin AFB and flew the C-130 for three years with the USAF Reserves at Duke Field.
Since 1987, Brent was employed as an Aeronautical Engineer by the Eglin Technical and Evaluation Support (TEAS) contractor in the Aerial Targets Branch. He worked on the QF-106 and the QF-4 Full Scale Aerial Targets (FSAT). Most recently he was a member of the new QF-16 FSAT design and acquisition team, while working for Odyssey Systems Consulting Group. According to co-workers, he received their respect and friendship as he spoke with confidence and always went the extra mile.
As his career shows, whether in the cockpit or at his desk, he loved flying. Brent was an avid corvette lover. Other fun interests included skeet shooting, target shooting and motorcycling.
Brent was preceded in death by his parents, Bonnie Smith and Clyde Smith; his beloved son, Mark Smith; and two sisters, Mary Lou Lankford and Doris Bradley. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Carolyn Smith, brother, Gerald Smith and many nieces and nephews and other family members.
Brent requested there be no memorial service. If you desire to remember him, you may contribute to The Niceville Church of Christ Mission Trust Fund. Agape of Montgomery, AL or the American Heart Association.
Brent is now on his final high flight, reaching out to touch the face of God.