He was born May 21, 1950, in Brownsville, TN to the late Albert F. Smith , Jr. “Shorty” and Norma Lee Freeman. Franklin was first elected Haywood County Mayor in August of 1986 and served his beloved county for 26 years. He was the “Cornerstone of the Megasite” that will change west Tennessee for generations to come. Franklin was in the founding class of WestStar leadership program and involved in many other transformational organizations including the Jaycees, Rotary, NAACP, Mississippi River Basin Authority, Haywood County Christmas Baskets, Boys and Girls Club, coached Dixie Youth baseball for years and many others. Franklin was instrumental in helping thousands of Haywood Countians through the Mustard Seed, Christmas Basket Radiothon, and Vision Haywood County. He was never too busy to help any charity that asked as long as it helped the people who needed it the most. He was a friend to everyone and never said “no” to anyone that needed help. Franklin was a true public servant and Haywood County was his one true love.
Franklin is survived by his wife, Trish Olness Smith of Chester County; brother Steve Smith (Cindy), sister, Lynn Prussia (Steve), his children, Lauren Morris (Jason) of Mount Dora, FL, Jenny Scott (Jason) of Brownsville, TN, Freeman Smith (Mandy) of Brownsville, TN and two stepchildren, Nicole Umstead (Anthony) of Henderson, TN and Rachel Lycan (Bruce) of San Antonio, TX. Franklin also had 12 grandchildren.
Memorial services for Franklin will be conducted Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at 11:00 AM in the Sanctuary of Brownsville First United Methodist Church with Rev. Sammy Tillman and Bro. Ben Cowell officiating and Jenny Scott and Michael Banks speaking. The Smith family will receive friends for visitation at First United Methodist on Tuesday evening, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and on Wednesday Morning from 9:00 AM until the service at 11:00 AM.
The family requests that any memorials be made to the Franklin Smith Memorial Fund (Vision Haywood County) at Insouth Bank or to Christ Episcopal Church in Brownsville, TN. All arrangements and services are under the direction of the Lea & Simmons Funeral Home in Brownsville, TN.