Frank A. Smith, Jr.
Frank Alexander Smith, Jr., 86, of 3803 Virginia Ave, Goshen, Virginia, went to be with Jesus on Monday, January 13, 2014 at his residence.
He was born March 31, 1927 in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the son of the late Dr. Frank Smith, DDS and Mabel J. Kerr Smith. He was married to Marsha Smith.
At retirement Mr. Smith was employed by Space Technology Labs of TRW, Inc. for 29 years as a rocket engineer, participating in the Lunar Module Descent Engine development, test, integration and launches through Apollo 13 (this engine brought the astronauts safely back from the ill-fated oxygen tank rupture occurring in orbit). He had worked for Radio Plane Co. and Lockheed at White Sands Missile Range, NM, and for Phillips Petroleum Co, at Air Force Plant 66 in McGregor, TX giving him over 40 years of experience in the aerospace industry.
Some of the weapons that Mr. Smith participated in included, Crossbow, XQ-5: ICBM’s Atlas, Titan 2, Minuteman I, II, III, and Peacekeeper, plus other missiles including Cruise, SIAM, and the Homing Overlay Experiment. Mr. Smith also had been associated with several satellite propulsion systems.
Mr. Smith had been the business manager for the American Rocket Society Chapter at Holloman AFB, NM, and Toastmasters president at Alamogordo, NM. He was a licensed commercial pilot (single engine, fixed wing, land).
Mr. Smith attended lower grades in Ponca City, OK schools, high school in Atlanta, TX, and graduated with a BS from East Texas Baptist College, Marshall, TX with a double major in Mathematics and Business Administration.
He was a Trustee of Lebanon Presbyterian Church, Bells Valley near Goshen. Mr. Smith accepted Jesus Christ as his savior during a revival at Lamar Street Baptist Church, Sweetwater, TX in May 1947; served as president of the Yucaipa, CA Unified School District school board, was founding member of the Regional Occupational Program of Redlands, Colton and Yucaipa, CA, and member of the San Bernardino County, CA. RCC. He served during WW II in the U.S. Navy as an activated reservist aboard destroyers USS Bernadon (DD 153) decommissioning crew, and Wm. M. Wood (DD 715) commissioning crew.
In addition to his wife, Marsha, surviving family members include a daughter, Gay Sharon Smith-Lavallee of Driftwood, TX, a son, Thurston A. Smith & wife Rose Anna of Tucson, AZ; their mother is Valera Faye (Thomas) Anderson; a daughter, Piper Jane Smith-Cooper and husband Marc, of Kaysville, UT; her mother is Patsy Jane (Manley) Smith of Layton, UT and a stepson, R. Andrew Schindler and his wife, Anita, their three sons, Ryley, Samson, and Toby of Goshen; a sister, Juanita Victoria Wilson of Carson City, Nevada; eight grandchildren; five great grandchildren; and several nephews and one niece.
He was preceded in death by his two brothers, Bobby and James.
A funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m., Friday, January 17, 2014 at Lebanon Presbyterian Church with Reverend Linwood Wilkes officiating. Interment will be in Lebanon Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Dennis Hatkevich, Andrew Schindler, Samson Schindler, Toby Schindler, Marcel Lavallee and Thurston Smith.
The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Craigsville Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lebanon Presbyterian Church.