William Renwick Smedberg IV – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

Rear Admiral William Renwick Smedberg IV passed away at his home in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida on July 8, 2008 after a long valiant battle with ALS.


Admiral Smedberg was born in Coronado, California, September 13, 1929, the son of the late Vice Admiral William Renwick Smedberg III and Claudia B. Smedberg. His military legacy goes back to the Civil War in which both great-grandfathers fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. His grandfathers were a Brigadier General (William Renwick Smedberg, Jr.) and Colonel in the Army and his father was Superintendent of the Naval Academy.

He graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria Virginia and in 1951 from the U.S. Naval Academy and later received a Master’s Degree from George Washington University. During his 31 years of active duty he fought in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. He held five at sea commands and served five tours on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. Additionally, he served as the Operations Officer for the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean stationed in Italy and as Senior Aide to SACEUR in Belgium. He graduated from both the Naval War College and the National War College.

He retired from active duty in October 1982, and formed his own consulting company specializing in the operational assessment of advanced technology for future navy ships and aircraft. He was a consultant to Bell Helicopter Textron, assessing the operational impact of tilt rotor aircraft (the V-22), and the technological feasibility and operational utility of stealth ships.

In 1995 he retired from consulting and moved to Ponte Vedra Beach to live on the golf course.

He is survived by Ann Parker Smedberg, his wife of 51 years and their two children, Susan Hibble of Ponte Vedra Beach and her children Annie and Parker, his son William R. Smedberg V of Fairfax Station Virginia, and his wife Joanie and their children Allison and Erica. His family also include a sister Claudia Estes of Melbourne Florida, and brother Captain (USN Retired) Edwin B. (Ted) Smedberg of Falls Church Virginia, and many nieces and nephews.

He will be remembered for his love and passion for all sports, golf in particular. While on active duty, he enjoyed the challenge of figuring out ways to fit in a round of golf, even while on sea duty. He was a member of the Army Navy Country Club in Virginia and the PonteVedra Inn and Club. He was a two time Super Senior Champion at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club and delighted in shooting under his age. He was a fierce competitor and an even better cheerleader and fan. Known affectionately to many as “the Admiral”, when not on the golf course he could be found at many local athletic events especially when his grandchildren and their teammates were playing. His support of all he considered his “boys” whether they were competing or practicing club or high school soccer, baseball, football, lacrosse, tennis or golf could be counted on. Many will remember his deep voice yelling encouragement from the sidelines to all.

A celebration of his life will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 12, 2008 in Christ Episcopal Church, with the Reverend Robert Morris and the Reverend Deacon Jo Hoskins officiating.

Internment and graveside service to be held on October 14, 2008, Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial donations be made in his name to the ALS Foundation or Northeast Hospice of Florida.

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