One of the leading voices in developing Bend’s Old Mill District as we know it today has passed away.
The Old Mill District says president and company founder Bill Smith passed away Friday at the age of 81.
It was in 1994 that Smith and other investors bought the property of the the old Brooks-Scanlon sawmill.
It took years of development, including saving the smoke stacks towering over Bend, to turn the area into the shopping hub it is now.
Old Mill District posted this quote from his children, Matt and Marney.
“Billy was a wonderful man. He loved his cat and his people. He is known to many as the guy who developed the Old Mill District and perhaps that will be his legacy, but to us he was a beloved father and a wonderful husband. Building places, friendships, and communities was the pride of his life. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers as we mourn his passing and celebrate his life.”