Francis “Fran” Smith

Hornell, New York

Francis E. “Fran” Smith – 89 – of 11 Marick Park Dr., North Hornell, died early Friday morning (April 21, 2023) at his home, surrounded by his family, following a short illness.

Born in Hornell on February 11, 1934, he was the son of Edward & Margaret (Wallace) Smith.

Fran grew up in Hornell and was a graduate of St. Ann’s School and later graduated from Hornell High School (class of 1952). While in high school, he was employed at the Hornell Country Club as a caddie and greenskeeper, helping his father who served as Head Greenskeeper.

Following high school graduation, Fran enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served his country from 1953 – 1955 during the Korean Conflict. While serving in the Marines, he was stationed at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in Southern California.

After being honorably discharged from the US Marines, Fran returned to the Hornell area and began his career with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). He began as a Laborer and eventually served as a Principal Accounting Clerk; retiring in 1995 with over 40 years of service. Fran later served as a “Ranger” at the Twin Hickory Golf Club, talking with the golfers and being outdoors.

Fran was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish and had been a communicant of St. Ignatius Loyola Church and St. Ann’s Church. He was a 59 year member and former Commander of the Hornell American Legion and also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Every Memorial Day weekend Fran and Sandy paid respect to our veterans by placing flags on their graves. Fran was a member of the Hornell Alumni Association and always enjoyed participating in the planning of their class reunions; as recent as 2020.

In his younger years, Fran served as a coach in the Hornell Grasshopper Baseball League. He was an avid golfer and a longtime member of the Hornell Twin Hickory Golf Club. Fran enjoyed camping throughout New York State and more recently loved the time spent at Sun Valley Campsite in Canaseraga. He was a true outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting (deer, pheasant & rabbit) and fishing (streams & lakes). Fran loved tending to his vegetable garden and flower garden and simply “puttering around” in the yard. He was also a die-hard New York Yankee fan (MLB) and Buffalo Bills fan (NFL) who for many years was a Buffalo Bills season ticketholder.

However, Fran’s greatest joy was simply being the best husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend that he could possibly be. To him, family was everything. Through dance recitals, sporting events, birthday parties, graduations, weddings, and more, Fran was always there for his family. He was trustworthy, honest, humble, and loyal, and he had such a great sense of humor. His family will forever cherish his selfless devotion to them.

In addition to his parents, Fran was preceded in death by his brothers, Charles Smith (and wife Ann), James Smith (and wife Donna); his sister, Helen Ann O’Rourke (and husband, Ronald).

He was married on September 6, 1958 to the former Sandra Oxx who survives. Also surviving are 2 sons, Daniel (Sharon) Smith of Arkport and Kevin (Debbie) Smith of Hornell; 1 daughter, Kathleen Lynn of Rochester; 1 brother, Paul (Mary Jo) Smith of Elizabethtown, PA; 8 grandchildren, Ryan (Danielle) Smith, Aryn (Mark) Bailey, Lauryn (Tyler Crouch) Smith, Jessica (Devin) White, Shawn (Bobbie) Smith, Colleen Smith, Leigha (Rob Eisenhardt) Smith and Christopher Lynn; 7 great-grandchildren with “three on the way”; and several nieces & nephews.

The family of Francis E. “Fran” Smith will receive friends on Wednesday from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 10:00 AM at St. Ann’s Church with burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery with full Military Honors.

Fran’s family would especially like to thank Rhonda Peterson, MD for her extraordinary compassionate care and support throughout Fran’s illness. Fran’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name be made to Twin Tiers Honor Flight, P O Box 1770, Binghamton NY 13902 and CareFirst Hospice, 3805 Meads Creek Rd., Painted Post NY 14870. Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral Home.

To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit

In recognition of Fran’s service to his country as a member of the US Marines, the American Flag at the Dagon Funeral Home will be flown at half-staff.

7 Responses to “Francis “Fran” Smith”

  1. Rob O’Rourke says:

    Uncle Fran was fortunate to have lived a long and fulfilled life. He was surrounded by a great immediate and extended family. I will always cherish the memories of our family gatherings. Truly special! My sympathies for your loss! Our prayers are with you. I will miss him!

  2. Jon Prete says:

    Andrew and I are so sorry to hear of Fran’s passing. He was such a wonderfully kind and friendly man, and I am blessed that he was a part of the Prete family, for so many years. I know how much his family loved him and know this is such a difficult time for everyone. Please know I am thinking of the Smith family. Sandra, Kevin and Kathy I love you all and wish I was able to be there for your time in need. Anything you need – please let me and the Prete’s know. Love, Jon

  3. Tim Gang says:

    Rest easy Marine , condolences to all

  4. Lynne Freeland says:

    Fran Smith was a true gentleman. Sandy and Fran moved into the upstairs apartment at my parents before their children were born. We, our neighborhood, had some of the best times. In 1960, The Pirates were playing the Yankees in the World Series. I was raised a Pirates fan and of course, Fran was a Yankee fan. In one of the games the Pirates won and when I got home from school, I was teasing Fran. My Dad said “If you dish it out, you have to be able to take it. The next game, the Yankees clobbered the Pirates and I was worried what Fran would say to this smart-mouthed kid. He said nothing, he just smiled at me. I will never forget what a great man he was and the lesson I learned 63 years ago from two great men, Fran and my Dad. Rest in the Arms of Jesus Fran, you earned your rest.

  5. Mark & Mary Davidson says:

    Sandy and family,
    We were saddened to hear of Fran’s passing. Our deepest sympathy to all. Our thoughts are with you. May memories be of some small comfort to you. Fran and Sandy were great neighbors on Wesley Ave and have been missed since their move.

    Mark and Mary Davidson

  6. Glenn Meteer says:

    I am sorry to hear of Fran’s passing. In my experience over many years at the DOT he was always a gentleman and always worked to find a fair resolution to the problem at hand. He had to deal with many personalities and always had an solution to manage the situation. Although I hadn’t seen him recently I am glad he had a long life surrounded by his family. What could be better.

  7. Patti Spicer says:

    I want to express our sincere condolences to your family for your great loss of Fran. He was a very nice man. May your memories with him ease your pain. From the Dailey/Spicer families. So sorry for your loss.