Donald M. Smith Obituary

Donald M. Smith Obituary

Cowsmopolitan staff wishes to pass along their most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Donald M. Smith.

Donald M. Smith of Franklin passed away suddenly early Sunday morning May 5, 2019 at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.

Photo: Dignity Memorial

Don on was the middle son of Ernest and Fannie Smith, and grew up on his family farm in Franklin. He attended and graduated from Franklin Central School in 1955, and then earned his B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1959. He married Janice Perkins in Carthage, NY on July 18, 1959. Their love and partnership spanned six decades, raising five children and working as a team on the family farm, Dairysmith Holsteins.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Janice; his children, Kimberley Guernsey, Barbara (Ernest) Hanselman, Elizabeth (John) Peterson, Donald T. (Kim) Smith, and Heather (Paul) Warner; his grandchildren, Charlie (Janine), Chase (Lauren Rider) and Claudia (John Onuska) Guernsey; Seth, Chelsea, Dara (Michael Navarre), Paige (Joshua Burroughs), Kale, Ladd, and Miquela Hanselman; Lindsey (Steven) Zustovich; Taylor (Dylan) Wilding, Cody, Jared, and Gabriel Smith; and Sabra and Brock Warner; great grandchildren, Garrett and Kyle Guernsey; Sam, Sophia, Peyton, and Spencer Guernsey; Carter, Madalyn, and Corbin Burroughs; Olivia Zustovich; and Natalia Wilding. He is also survived by his younger brother, Cecil Smith.

He was predeceased by his parents Ernest and Fannie Smith, and his older brother, Ford.

Don accepted fully his role in life of nurturing and overseeing all that was his responsibility – his family, his cattle and his land, and his many roles in his community. Dad never overlooked the opportunity to help someone who truly needed help, and so our table, our home, and our farm had a strict open door policy. Over the years, many people had found a spot in our home, and in his heart. His choice to serve his community in so many roles was a true reflection of his firm belief in giving of himself quietly and humbly.

Dad and Mom took huge pride in developing their herd of registered Holsteins. They hugely anticipated and enjoyed showing Dairysmith’s finest at the Delaware Co. Holstein Show and Fair, and Dad had exhibited cattle there for over 70 years. Dad and Mom met showing cattle as 4-Hers at State Fair, so their participation celebrated that, but it also was a week where they got to spend precious time with family and their many friends from the farm community, as well as all walks of life.

Don loved his town and county and served on numerous committees and boards over the years. His 35 years of leadership in the town started as a councilman for 14 years, and then served as Franklin’s Town Supervisor for 21 years. He was always thoughtful about progressive changes in agriculture, and served in numerous roles to support that including being a 4-H leader, a member of the National and NY State Holstein Associations, and a member, past director, and president of the Delaware Co. Holstein Club. He served as a board member for Del. Co. Cornell Cooperative Extension, Del. Co. Soil and Water Board, and DHIA board. He was also a director of the Franklin Fire Insurance Cooperative. Don was always busy, but he loved to watch his grandchildren participate in sports, and enjoyed NASCAR.

Friends are invited to greet the family on Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 5-8 pm at the Kenneth L. Bennett Funeral Home, 425 Main Street, Franklin. A memorial service will take place on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 1 pm at the Franklin United Methodist Church, 475 Main Street, Franklin, with Rev. Dr. John Hill officiating.

Burial will be private at the Ouleout Valley Cemetery, Franklin, completing five generations of the Smith family laid there to rest.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks to please make contributions to the Delaware Co. Holstein Club for the Best 3 Females Class Award to be given in his memory at the Delaware Co. Holstein Show each year, or to the Town of Franklin for the building and improvement of the Ouleout Cemetery Sidewalk.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting here.

Arrangements are by the Kenneth L. Bennett Funeral Home, Franklin.

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