Francis Smith


Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lifelong Juneau resident Francis A. Smith died Aug. 12, 2007, at his home in Juneau. He was 79.

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He was born June 12, 1928, in Juneau at St. Ann's Hospital. He graduated from Juneau High School in 1949 and served eight years in the National Guard.

He grew up working on the family dairy, Juneau Dairy, later known as Smith Dairy. He attended Emery Riddle Flight School in Miami, Fla., where he received his A&P Certificate and commercial pilot's license. In 1961, he began working for Alaska Coastal Airlines, which later became Alaska Airlines. After leaving Alaska Airlines, he worked for Southeast Skyways, Harry Plumbing and Heating, then for the city of Juneau in runway and airport maintenance, from which he retired in 1991, after 15 years.

He was a charter member of the Glacier Valley Volunteer Fire Department, past governor of the Juneau Moose Lodge 700, from which he received his fellowship degree. In 1911, his father became a charter member of the Moose Lodge and Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks 420.

He loved fishing on his boat, The Buddy II; flying his Champion float plane, and traveling with his wife. He was happiest having coffee with his friends at Donna's Restaurant, spending time with all of his family at his home on Atlin Drive.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lee and Frances Smith, who were pioneer dairy men; and sister, Delores Bruns.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Mary Smith; daughters, Jennifer Williamson and her husband, Ronnie, and Eileen Sundberg and her husband, Shawn; brothers. Lee Smith and his wife, Marie, Joe Smith and his wife, Betty, Ted Smith, Sid Smith and his wife, Elisabeth; grandchildren, Jason, Ronni Lynn, Kayla, Nicole and Dustin Williamson; Taylor and Lexi Sundberg; great-grandchildren, Brycen and Landon Williamson; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by the Teddy Smith family in Virginia, the Bruns family in Ohio and the Altmiller family in California.

Pallbearers are Todd Smith, Scott Reid, Jaret Reid, Tyler Reid, Bruce Griggs, Kurt Kinder and Scott Gray. Honorary pallbearers are Lee Smith, Joe Smith, Ted Smith, Sid Smith, Ted Smith Jr., Ronnie Williamson, Shawn Sundberg, Russ McDougal, Jim Kinder and the "4 o'clock coffee gang" from Donna's.

A viewing is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Thursday at St. Paul's Catholic on Atlin Drive. The funeral Mass, officiated by the Rev. Tony and Bishop Bruce Fox, of Aiken, S.C., will be at noon Friday at St. Paul's Catholic Church. Interment will immediately follow the Mass at the Alaskan Memorial Park. A reception will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at the Moose Lodge.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his memory to South Aiken Church of God, Building Fund, 2700 Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC, 29803. This was a project very near and dear to his heart, said his family. Contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

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