WHS graduate in the Class of 1950


SARASOTA, FL — Frank A Smith, Jr. passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 in Sarasota, Florida, where he had lived happily in retirement since 2005. Frank was born in Wakefield, MA, on January 13, 1933, to Frank A Smith, Sr., and Isabel (Preston) Smith.

In Wakefield, he enjoyed living near his large family and group of friends. While growing up, he was actively involved in many local sports teams, with a genuine love of softball and basketball. He graduated from Wakefield High School (1950), the postgraduate program of The Chauncey Hall School (1951), and the Tufts Engineering School (1955).

From Tufts, Frank joined the United States Navy, where he remained on active duty for four years. His experience in the USN was truly formative for him and gave him a great sense of pride and accomplishment that he carried throughout his life.

Frank remained in the USN Reserves until the late 1970s, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander.

Frank married Carol Melanson, also of Wakefield, in 1961, welcoming their son, Greg, in 1963. They lived in the Boston area before moving to the Washington, DC area in 1966.

Frank and Carol remained in the Washington, DC area until 2005, living primarily in Montgomery Village, MD. Frank worked for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration where he honed his expertise of being a safety engineer. He was proud of the lives he saved and the amount of coffee he could drink.

While remaining a devoted husband and father, Frank also earned an MPA degree from The University of Southern California in 1978. Frank and Carol enjoyed empty nesting in the DC area for 20 years.

Once retired, Frank and Carol relocated to Sarasota’s Village Walk in 2005, where they made many close friendships and enjoyed some international travel. Frank became a daily fixture at the local Starbucks reading his newspapers and chatting with the regulars — a routine that he continued until they moved to Sarasota’s Lakehouse West in 2019. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in May 2021 surrounded by friends and family.

Frank’s family wants to recognize and thank those health professionals at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Bay Village, and Lakehouse West who helped make him comfortable in his last weeks. Frank is survived by his wife (Carol), son (Greg), daughter-in-law (Nancy), three grandchildren (Charlie, Lauren, and Harrison), and ten nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his older sister, Barbara Spang, and one nephew.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, February 18 at 9:30 a.m. at Saint Thomas More Catholic Church, 2506 Gulf Gate Dr., Sarasota. Frank’s remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. To send condolences please visit www.toalebrothers.com.