Frank Eugene ‘Gene’ Smith
Frank Eugene Smith was born on July 25, 1939, to Frank Eastman Smith and Edna A. Dyer Smith, in Spokane, Wash. Gene passed away unexpectedly at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Dec. 26, 2017, at the age of 78.
Gene grew up in Worley, Idaho, with his brother, Terry, by his side — from working on the family farm, to growing crops, riding horses to school, taking care of animals, spending time with their cousin Sally in town and getting a great start in 4-H. He began 4-H early as a member in 1948, with the influence of his parents’ involvement as members and then leaders themselves. This led to the countless awards, trips and acknowledgments throughout his member and leader service of over 50 years. He was currently the Organizational Leader of Pine Tree 4-H Club, in Post Falls, Idaho.
He graduated with honors as Salutatorian, in 1958 from Worley High School. He also attended the University of Idaho before starting his military career. In 1961, he enlisted in the Washington State Air National Guard, was a Nuclear Weapons Specialist and a Hydraulic Aircraft Mechanic. Gene retired as Master Sergeant in December, 1989.
In 1963, he married Marilyn Deon Carman and started a family in Spokane, Wash. They moved to Coeur d’Alene, then to Post Falls, and had three children. At that time, he became the first snowmobile dealer in the Inland Empire, was the Snowmobile Club president, and eventually a Kootenai County groomer operator for local riding trails. His snowmobile dealership slowly turned into small engine repair, boat motor service and an AMSOIL dealership which is still in operation today.
Being an avid hunter and outdoorsman led him to teaching the Hunters Education Program for the Idaho State Fish and Game for more than 40 years. He was a 50-year member of the Coeur d’Alene Elks Lodge No. 1254; initiated as an Elk in 1969. In 1976 to 1977, he was appointed Exalted Ruler, and was currently the Lodge Trustee, Safety Officer and Kamper Klub President.
Gene married Roberta “Bertie” in 1995. They enjoyed dancing, involvement in 4-H and traveling with the Elks’ Kamper Klub throughout the Northwest Region.
We were surprised to find “The Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award” for community and volunteer service in his office papers. He was never one to boast of his numerous achievements. Gene was a humble man who preferred to mentor, act in service or help with any needed project. He is survived by his wife, Bertie; his brother, Terry Smith and wife Jaye of Coeur d’Alene; Marilyn Carman Smith — the mother of his children; Debbie Smith and partner Mike of Post Falls; Brian Smith and partner Patrick of Portland, Ore., and Cynthia Early and husband Ken of Coeur d’Alene; and grandchildren Alexandra and Kalvin. Gene is also survived by Bertie’s son, Steven, his wife, Delinda and their sons, Spencer and Matthew.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, at English Funeral Chapel in Coeur d’Alene. Reception will follow the service at 3 p.m., at Lake City Center, 1916 N. Lakewood Drive, in Coeur d’Alene. Burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at Riverview Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the 4-H Endowment Fund in Gene’s name: Kootenai Extension Office, c/o Sharla Wilson, 1808 N. Third St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816. 208-446-1680 or email email@example.com. English Funeral Chapel is in care of final arrangements.