In Memory of Our Founder

Wilbur Smither

A native of Huntsville, Texas, Wilbur Smither spent a lifetime serving and working with others, sharing his vision and inspiring others in creative ways. After receiving his MBA from Southern Methodist University, he became a partner at Arthur Andersen & Co. In 1978, he married Martha whom he had met at AA & Co. In the 1980’s, he joined the board of The Winston School (for children with learning differences), where he served as the second Board Chair for five years and continued his involvement until his death.

In the late 1990’s, he joined Blockbuster Video soon after its start-up as Chief Information Officer and was instrumental in its expansion from 200 to 3,400 stores in three years. Later Wilbur took his talents to Mary Kay Cosmetics in the same capacity and finally moved to IBM to manage the Y2K practice in the southwest region. He retired from IBM in 2000 when he and wife Martha added Hot Springs Village as one of their favorite places.

Upon arrival in HSV, Wilbur played golf as often as possible. He gradually became involved in many Village activities and causes. He joined the Research and Special Projects Committee in 2007, and helped persuade the POA board and management to address the need for strategic planning. He led the process over an 18 month period, involved many in the community and culminated in its adoption in late 2010. The same year, he joined the Ad Hoc Assessment Campaign team that led to its successful passage. He served as Chair of the RASP Committee for three years and remained a part of that team, subsequently. Wilbur and Martha received the President’s Award from the POA Board in 2012, for their contributions to the community. He joined the Board of the Friends of the Village in 2007, and served as President for the last three years. Personally, he worked diligently to find volunteers to work on POA issues and committees and potential candidates for the POA Board with an eye toward drawing newer residents into the process.

Inspired by the SMU Tate Lecture Series, Wilbur began an effort in 2012 to bring the same type of program to Hot Springs Village. Thus was born the Ouachita Speaker Series, which hosts, each season, six speakers who engage the audience on a wide variety of topics. His vision was to bring stimulating, provocative and thought provoking speakers to the Village for people to enjoy, be inspired by and to create a time for lively interaction between speaker and Villagers. He considered the speaker series as different and complementary to the many other cultural and entertainment activities the Village has to offer.

In Memory of Our Long-Standing President

Tom Bryant

Following the loss of founder Wilbur Smither, Tom’s leadership continued to bring in engaging speakers.  He truly believed that excellent communication would lead to greater understanding and harmonious neighbors.

In Memory of a Founding Board Member

John A. Hollansworth Sr

John, a board member and one of the founding board members of the OSS, passed away in July of 2023 at the age 92.

John was born on May 8, 1931 in Kansas City, Missouri. After graduating from high school, John served in the U.S. Army, and later received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma City University, followed by a Master’s degree at Loyola college.

He retired from Western Union after 33 years in the Government Systems Division, as Senior Vice President.

John was an active member of the Gideons for 60 years, and during his 35 years in Hot Springs Village, volunteered his time and efforts as a board member for Mid-American Museum, Boys and Girls Club of HSV, Teen Challenge, Good Sam Advisory Board, Village Bible Church, Friends of the Village, McPherson College, and Hagerty Antique Car Insurance.

John owned and managed Gasoline Alley, a car collection and restoration garage. His passion for cars was evident throughout his life as he raced Midgets and IndyCars in the mid-60s with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Parnelli Jones, and others. John competed in the Great American Race across the U.S. 15 years in a row and was the owner and driver of a 1917 Peerless, known as the “Green Dragon “

Throughout his life, John worked and served his family, community and country with great enthusiasm and passion. He was a natural negotiator and peacemaker. On a daily basis, he welcomed everyone into his auto shop, sharing his passion for American wheels, and giving back generously to countless individuals of every age. John’s faith in Jesus Christ was evidenced daily as he generously partnered with non profit organizations like Fellowship of Christian Athletes locally, to help further Christian development in the schools and colleges.

Intuit Mailchimp logo
Facebook icon
YouTube icon

© 2021 Your brand name