In Memory of: Francis Anthony "Frank" Smith, Jr.
Francis Anthony "Frank" Smith, Jr., age 84, of Scottsdale, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010. Frank was the eldest of identical twins born Feb. 15, 1926, in Boston to Francis A. Smith and Catherine Cullen Smith, both deceased. Twin Gerald J. Smith of Bel Air, Md., survives.
The twins enlisted in the U.S. Navy early in 1942. Frank served on USS Ramsden and LST 759 as a Radar man in the World War II Anti-Submarine Campaign of the Atlantic and Mediterranean, later was assigned to the Amphibious Forces for the Battles of the South Pacific, ending with Okinawa, April 1, 1945. Frank was honorably discharged in October 1945. He chronicled his war experiences in a self-published memoir titled, "The Happy Hooligan."
Frank was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 60 years, the girl next door, Lorraine R. Brodeur, the first daughter of Leo and Simone Gingras Brodeur of Boston. Frank and Lorraine followed the call of the West, relocating to Kingman in July 1949. Frank was elected American Legion commander of the Kingman Post 14 and stayed on as an unpaid volunteer adjutant for 12 years, transferred his membership to the Scottsdale Sipe-Peterson Legion Post and was a 63-year member. He was a Life Member of the Kingman Elks and a Life Member of the Phoenix Chapter 1 of the Disabled American Veterans. During his 20-year residence in Kingman, he was advancement chairman for Boy Scouts of America, Mohave County District. He was a 3rd Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus, St. Mary's Council as well as the secretary and financial secretary of the Council. He was elected to four terms on the Mohave County Democratic Central Committee.
Frank retired after 35 years of service in the U.S. Postal Service, first working the Kingman City Delivery Service, then as the first city carrier. He transferred to the U.S. Postal RPO Railway Mail Service on the Santa Fe Railroad, on the main line from Los Angeles to Chicago. At the discontinuation of Railway Mail Service, Frank and his family transferred to the Phoenix U.S. Postal System. He retired as the USPS training department senior scheme examiner July 1, 1988.
Frank loved his family, music, dancing, working with tools and technology, was an avid ASU football fan, and was proud of his Irish Catholic heritage and his service to his country. Frank was a longtime parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Scottsdale.
Frank is preceded in death by a sister, Anne Panarello. In addition to brother Gerald (Janet) Smith, he is survived by a sister, Barbara (Ernie) Ludwig; his three daughters, Patricia (Patrick) Smith, Elizabeth (Bernard) Doerning and Catherine (C. Thomas) Ethington; grandchildren, Daniel (Nancy) and Andrew (Leslie) Smith; Luke, Robert and Carolyn Doerning; Laura and David Ethington; three grandchildren, Kaylee and Kloe Smith, and Timothy Smith; many nieces, nephews, extended family, and his faithful buddy these past two years, Duncan, the gentleman's beagle.
A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, at Messinger Mortuary, 7601 E. Indian School Road in Scottsdale. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 7655 E. Main St. in Scottsdale. A reception will follow the Mass at church.
Following the reception, a committal service will take place at 1 p.m. at The National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road in Phoenix.
The family would like to thank the extraordinary caring staff at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn campus, Floor 2West. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Frank and Lorraine Smith Scholarship Fund, c/o Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church School, Scottsdale.