Kenneth L. Bennett Funeral Home

425 Main Street, Franklin, NY


Donald M. Smith

December 31, 1936May 5, 2019
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Donald M. Smith of Franklin passed away suddenly early Sunday morning May 5, 2019 at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.

Don 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 www.bennettfh.com.

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


  • Calling Hours

    Thursday, May 9, 2019

  • Memorial Service

    Friday, May 10, 2019


Donald M. Smith

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sid and Patty Wright

May 16, 2019

Dear Janice and family, please accept our most sincere condolences. Sid enjoyed his time picking up your milk with Riddell Bros. and the many great conversations with Don. Keep all your wonderful memories of Don close to your heart.

Mary Lou (Mason) Carroll

May 13, 2019

So sorry to hear about Don's recent death. He was a friend at Franklin School
and a great classmate. You have many fond memories to help you through
the rest of your lives. Sincerely, Mary Lou

Richard Lutz

May 10, 2019

So very sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful man and will be missed. Deepest condolences to the whole family.

Hanna VanDeusen

May 9, 2019

Sending my sympathy for your loss. Cherish all of the memories and find comfort in them and each other. My prayers are with you.

Ronan & Susan Robinson

May 9, 2019

He was such a kind man and touched so many lives around here. Always helped us when rain was coming to get crops in. Always a warm smile when we see him in town and take time to talk. We will miss him greatly.

Ron (Bud) Bryden

May 8, 2019

I am deeply saddened to read of the passing of a friend. My sincere condolences to Janice and the family. Don and Janice played an important part of who I was to become with their leadership, support and care as 4-H leaders. Don was always a good friend and someone I could look to for help and advice. I would say that as I look back, I can say “Thank you God for the privilege of the friendship of Don and Janice Smith.

Richard & Lois BLACKMAN

May 8, 2019

Our very deepest sympathy to Janis and Family....It was great working with him on Franklin Fire Ins Co over the past 40 + years...Sincerely Dick & Lois Blackman & Family

Ann and Tim Jordan

May 8, 2019

Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family! We are very sorry for your loss!

Lori (Snyder) Barnard

May 7, 2019

So sorry to hear this. I remember him well when I was a kid growing up in Franklin. He was a great man, my thoughts and prayers are with your family. RIP Don

Leonarda Storey

May 7, 2019

It is with great sadness that I heard of Don's passing. He was a wonderful man... always thoughtful, always kind, always respectful. Don will be greatly missed by all who knew him. My sincerest condolences to the Janice and the family.


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