Frank "Skip" Martin Smith III
August 2, 1942 – October 15, 2020
Frank Martin Smith III, familiarly known as “Skip,” died early in the morning on October 15th due to complications from lung cancer. He was the grandson of Colonel Frank M. Smith and Margaret Kyle “(Miss Doodle)”Smith and the son of Frank M. Smith, Jr. and Janet C. Smith. Although he was born in Santa Barbara, California, Rogersville has always been home. As a child, he spent many summers and holidays here. As an adult, he returned frequently, and it was in Rogersville that he met his great love, to whom he was married for 34 years. He loved the beauty of Tennessee and the varied, quirky, caring family and friends he had here in Rogersville.
Professionally, Frank worked in advertising and promotions. His accounts varied widely and included Kraft, numerous radio stations, Arby’s, movie promotions, and the Country Music Awards. Through this work, he met a cornucopia of colorful characters and celebrities, many of whom were the center of a seemingly endless store of entertaining stories. A printed collection of these stories was always to be forthcoming, but those stories will now live on in the hearts of his friends and family. Frank was, in fact, an excellent writer and epistolary. He wrote much poetry and many short stories, and he wrote avidly to friends, family, and politicians, letters in which he recounted memories, gave advice, offered support, and shared his creativity. His fondest hope near the end of his life was to return with his wife to Rogersville and be part of the community, watching for the fireflies in late May and keeping an eye out for the funky find at the Heritage Days festival. Just before he died, Frank asked to be remembered in this way: “In the end, he traveled light and arrived well-balanced.”
Frank is survived by Ann Bachman Hale-Smith, a Rogersville native & his wife of 34 years, and his son Frank M. Smith IV. The family plans to hold a memorial service in the spring or summer of 2021, assuming the wide availability of a COVID-19 vaccine. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Frank’s memory be made to the Hawkins County Humane Society.