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Apr 21, 1945 - Nov 17, 2023
As per Frank’s wishes, no funeral will be held
Franklin Robert Smith
(April 21, 1945 - November 17, 2023)
Franklin Smith was born April 21, 1945 in Rocky Mountain House Alberta to Robert and Mabel Smith. He grew up on the farm immediately south of Alhambra. His entire school career was also spent in Alhambra. He liked to claim to have a Gr. 9 education but that was only because he moved his desk from the Gr. 7 row to the Gr. 9 row until he was corrected.
Franklin was farming full time at the age of 13, at home, and helping his bachelor neighbor John Malheuk to the west. He recalls getting picked up by John who was heading to town for groceries and then getting to drive the team home at a young age. Franklin enjoyed playing baseball in his youth and walking to the rink in Alhambra to play hockey or riding his horse to the neighbors (Hope’s) to play cards.
One childhood memory was the concern that when a plane flew over that the Russians may be coming but after watching Summit Series ‘72 and the Russian style of hockey with speed and skill Frank thought that they maybe had some good things to offer.
Frank was married to Barbara Kowatch in 1965 for a short time resulting in a lifelong, very close friendship with Larry and Bonnie Kowatch. Frank met Marlene Howes of the Dovercourt area in 1971. Early in their courtship, after discovering they had both been previously married within days of each other, Frank proclaimed “I guess I just went to the wrong church”.
Franklin worked at Rocky Wood Preservers for a few winters during this time to help get the farm established. A fifty-year marriage followed with much time spent raising four children, farming, coaching, curling, camping, cards, sports, and community dances. Countless hours were spent playing catch, batting balls, and flooding a backyard rink for the kids. The farming began with a mixed herd that had quite a bit of personality. In fact, he supplied the Rocky Rodeo with stock and the boys steer riding buckle was awarded after a foot race because nobody made a ride. That herd has evolved into some of the nicest black angus animals east of, west of, or IN the Horseguard.
Coaching many years of softball and hockey was highlighted by a couple provincial titles in the late eighties. Twenty-five consecutive years in the Rocky Farmers Bonspiel brought many good times. Frank and Marlene also enjoyed driving to the Yukon, cruising to Alaska, and multiple motorhome adventures with George and Joyce Roberts. Camping memories often include Frank cheffing up the beavertail Bannock or driving his truck and camper to the top of Mount Baldy, much to Molly’s and the marmots’ surprise. Smear was his card game of choice and local dance halls will remember his stride. He patrolled the blue line for the Rocky Rams, Eckville Eagles and later the Eckville Bald Eagles, a presence on the ice for sure.
Franklin’s mind did not take any breaks, right up to his passing. In school his standardized IQ tests scored at the Mensa group level. He was not easily fooled and rarely out strategized. His analytical brain looked for efficiency even in the simplest tasks and let’s just say there wasn’t a lot of “winging it” on the Smith farm. (unless Logan was left home alone).
Frank believed in honesty, integrity, and valued fairness very much. He spent hours drawing up lineups for teams he was coaching trying to find that elusive balance of playing time for varying degrees of abilities and desire. Franklin always seemed to be on the giving end of any deals and did not entertain the idea of trying to get ahead at the expense of others, something he instilled in his children.
Frank enjoyed his grandchildren while on the farm, at holiday festivities or while watching them in a gym or arena. Coochy coochy coo wasn’t really his style but the grandkids knew his way.
He also enjoyed watching the Blue Jays and the Oilers. Although we don’t think the Oilers start to this year contributed to his decline, we don’t think it helped either.
Survived by wife Marlene, children Jackie Phillips (Shane Fisher), Ryan (Miranda) Smith, Logan (Darla) Smith, sister Heather (George) Loomer, grandchildren Steven, Shanna, Kallen (Susan), Kole, Robert, Brooklyn (Ty), Owen, Jake, Hunter (Makayla), Brandon, Zoey and predeceased by son Bret Prodaniuk.
Franklin passed after a relatively short, private cancer battle with family at his side.
As per Frank’s wishes, no funeral will be held.
“See you around”
Chris and Brenda Sande:
So sorry to learn of Frank's passing.Our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time,and lean on the good memories give you strength.
Rick & Angele Anderson :
We are so sorry to hear of Frank's passing and wish Marlene, Ryan & family and Logan & family our condolences. May you find comfort in your memories and the knowledge that we all share your grief.
Geraldine Haney Ross:
My sincerest sympathies to Marlene and families keep the best memories closest to your heart they will help it to heal. Share the funny times. Laugh about them. Love you my dear old friend
Donna & Tom Clark:
Our sincere sympathy to Marlene and all Franklin’s family in your loss.
Elaine Beach Gusek:
My condolences to you Marlene and your family. Frank had a wonderful sense of humor. He was good at playing crib too. I was blessed to know him. He will be missed.
My condolences to my friend Marlene and all her families. Your tribute to Frank is so beautiful. May he rest in peace!
Gordon and Pauline Leslie:
To the Smith Family
We are so sorry for your loss.
Our thoughts are with you.
Cliff & Delores Drader:
We were not only neighbors but good friends. We spent many a night around the kitchen tables paying cards. One of our fondest memories was a trip to the Hummingbird. Marlene you'll remember Frank stopping, picking a flower and placing it in your hair, also the phrase "speed woman" as you tended to the lit end of a cigarette that had made its way into his coveralls. We'll really miss our adventures together.
To Marlene and Family, with our love and sympathy.
Laurel Dean Winchester :
My condolences to the families. Have many great memories of visits with Frank and Marlene at the ball diamonds and curling rinks. Cherish the memories.
Gladys & Stan Nattestad:
Sorry to hear of Franklins passing, read the beautiful tribute. Condolences Marlene & family from All the cousins of Aunt Annie Johnson ( Wilson ). Cherish your memories.
So sorry for your loss. Sending hugs.
As former neighbours, we have some great memories of branding and vaccinating calves in the spring, and moving cattle to pasture. Fun times! Our condolences to Marlene and the Smith family. Frank will be missed and long remembered.
dorothy annable and marion:
condlences to the family
Ed and Gail Johnson:
Our condolence to the Smith Family
My condolences to all of you!
Darcy and Isabelle Stuart:
So sorry for your loss.
Sincere condolences to the Smith family and friends.
Thinking of Franklin always makes me smile. May good memories bring you comfort.
Excellent written summary of a life well lived. Happy to have known Frank and we will reminisce of memories of him.
Condolences to you Smith family.
Love Dana & Derek
Ron Wilson :
What a beautiful tribute to Franklin. Love to the family.
Helen Northcott Fink:
I am so very very sorry to hear of Frank's passing. He led a beautiful full life and had a wonderful family. My heart goes out to my friend Marlene and all the children. Cherish your memories.
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