Franklin John Smith, 86, passed away of natural causes complicated by the coronavirus on December 3, 2020. Franklin was born on August 9th, 1934 in Malta, MT to Jack and Edna (Fry) Smith joining his two older brothers Harvey and Howard. He grew up in Dodson and graduated from Dodson High School in 1953. On June 30th, 1956 he married Jeneanne Feigel, and had two children, Greg and Deanna, and remained happily married until her passing on April 9th, 2007. He joined the United States Army in 1957 where he served for thirty-four months, spending eighteen of those in Munich, Germany. Jeneanne joined him in Germany in the spring of 1958 and they spent their time traveling extensively in Europe. He ended his years of service in Europe being named outstanding soldier of his company.
After their years overseas, Franklin and Jeneanne settled in Malta where he became manager of the Petrolane Gas Company while continuing service in the Army Reserves. He was later called back into service during the Berlin crisis. He returned to Malta and continued working for Petrolane Gas Company until 1973 when the Smith’s purchased the Riverside Motel in Malta.
Franklin was a highly active citizen in the Malta Community. He acted as Fire Chief and Superintendent of the Phillips County Ambulance for many years. He also served as the President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce and was extremely active in the Jaycees where he was awarded every honor and award they give. Franklin was also instrumental in the creation and continuance of the annual Milk River Wagon Train.
In 2011, an unexpected love, Penny Mackey, came into his life and they enjoyed every minute together traveling, working on Penny’s farm, and sharing each other’s company with family and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents Jack and Edna Smith, his brother Howard Smith, and his wife Jeneanne Smith.
He is survived by his love Penny Mackey, son Greg Smith (Julia), daughter Deanna Arnold (Mark), brother Harvey (Mary), grandchildren Coby Smith, Ryan Paul, Justin Paul, and Tyler Arnold, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to donate to the Malta County Volunteer Fire Department in Franklin’s memory.
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