On September 3, 2011, Heaven's gates opened and Our Heavenly Father welcomed home Albert L. "Buster" DeSmedt from Lee's Summit, Missouri. "Billy" (as he was affectionately known by his immediate family) had a tremendous faith and strong love for his Church. The last five years allowed him to renew and strengthen a bond with his sister, but yet he experienced one of his saddest losses: his nephew's death. He deeply loved and enjoyed time with his family.
Billy spent many days spreading a little bit of joy and blessings to others as he felt he had been so blessed. The kindest, most gentle man found the greatest joy in the simple things - the beauty of the sunrise; the wonder of a sunset or the flowers' fragrant colors. He was content to sit for hours on a park bench or strolling around the lake – just soaking it all in!! He knew no stranger. Although he was known differently by many, and he had a pet name for all those he encountered, there was no mistaking the heart of "the man in the yellow truck" or the man who delivered a smile and a "mint for the day". He cared so deeply and genuinely for those he came into contact with, they became a part of his family -- from the neighborhood kids he babysat, to the Valero station attendant; from Jennie at Price Chopper and the faces at the bread store and John Knox Village Thrift Store to the servers at his favorite Belton diner or Johnnie Ray's – he knew them all by name and could tell you details about their daily lives.
Billy was born Oct 5, 1939 to Albert W. and Elizabeth V. (Fisher) and graduated from Blue Springs High School. He was also a U.S. Army reservist. Billy worked hard (retiring from LCAAP) and played hard. An avid race fan – the original "weekend warrior"…..working hard all week just waiting for Friday's 5 o'clock whistle so he could jump in a packed car and head to a World of Outlaws sprint car race in Knoxville or an Indy car race back East. He spent many a weekend in the pits and became buddies with the drivers, their families and crews. Aside from racing, there wasn't a sport Billy didn't enjoy – supporting Kings' basketball before they headed west; Blues' hockey before they headed east; listened to every Royals and Chiefs' broadcast and even enjoyed Mizzou football from the "hill" at Faurot Field. He also enjoyed the Missouri State Fair (never missing an Opening Day since the late 1950s); going to Starlight with his mom; a new movie or the circus with his nieces and nephew; local car rallies or just listening to the summer's Free Friday Night concerts. He was ecstatic to attend the Chesney concert this past July at Arrowhead as part of three family generations.
Billy is preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law, John Gibson; and nephew, John "Cliffie" Jr. He is survived and will be greatly missed by his sister, Carol "Maudie" Gibson; nieces Karen "Sammie" Conn and husband, Steve; Kim "Kimmie" Buckley and husband, Bob; great-nieces/nephews: Nicole, Adam (Michele), Zack, Mitchell, Jessica, Christopher, Brandon, Kristin, Johnna, Megan Marie and great-great nieces/nephews, Kayden Shay, Mackenzie, Connor, and Aiden; special friends, Gale "Bud" (Tammy) Ellis; Jo Kubas and Del Funks; along with many cousins and great friends.
The family wants to acknowledge the neighbors who cared for him and loved him as their own: The "Hatch Batch" – Steve, Mary & kids; Sam & Becky Garozzo & kids; Kylan & Toni Moore & kids; Mark Slirke & family.
The world is a better place because of you! We weren't ready to let you go, but we know the angels are rejoicing! We send our love with you to Weebie, Bubbles, Johnnie and Cliffie until we're all together again!
Visitation Thursday, September 8th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm with the Rosary at 7:30pm at DW Newcomers Longview, Kansas City, Missouri and funeral Friday, 10:00 am at Our Lady of the Presentation, Lee's Summit, Missouri.