Frank Morrison Smither

Published 2:09 pm Monday, October 8, 2012

PINEHURST, N.C. — Dr. Frank Morrison Smither, of Pinehurst, N.C., formerly of Suffolk, Va., died peacefully on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, after a very long illness. He was the son of the late Archie Garnett Smither and Sue Wilkins Stewart Smither. He is predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Nell Cobb Ramsey Smither, two brothers, Archie Garnett Smither Jr., Edward Stewart Smither; and one sister, Lillian Sue Benton.

Morrison was a native of Suffolk, Va., and after his education at the University of Richmond and the Pennsylvania State College of Optometry, he pursued his profession as an optometrist. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Air Force Medical Corps in 1954 and after his marriage to Nell, was stationed in Nagoya, Japan, where he first practiced optometry and where his daughter, Susan, was born. Upon his discharge in 1957, the family moved back to Suffolk, where he continued his practice until an illness caused him to retire in the early 1980s.

Morrison was an accomplished musician, both as a pianist and as a member of several choirs in West End Baptist Church and in the community. He was a very dedicated member of West End Baptist Church, serving as a Sunday school teacher for many years, as well as serving on many different committees. He was ordained as a deacon of the church and was awarded Deacon Emeritus status.

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He also had a lifelong interest in education and received a master’s degree in education in 1971 from Old Dominion University. His hobbies included reading and gardening and music.

He is survived by his loving and dedicated son, Frank Morrison Smither Jr., who cared for him during his illness for many years; his daughter, Susan Smither Holmes and her husband, Brent; three grandchildren, Michael Allen Holmes and his wife, Acey, Kathryn Holmes Galloway and her husband, Eric, Scott Shepperson Holmes; and one great-grandson, Jackson Galloway. He is also survived by two nephews, Michael Trent Smither and his wife, Betty, and Major Thomas Benton; and one niece, Sue Benton Birdsong and her husband, George.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m. at West End Baptist Church in Suffolk, Va. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Community Home Care and Hospice, the American Red Cross, Moore County Chapter, P.O. Box 408, Southern Pines, NC 28388, or the Arc of Moore County, P.O. Box 773, Southern Pines, NC 28388.

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Boles Funeral Home and Crematory Inc. in Pinehurst will be assisting the family.