GADSDEN-SMITH, Mrs. Frankie Earlene, of Henrico, departed this life Friday, January 25, 2013. Daughter of the late Elisha and Felton Wheeler, she was born in Waco, Texas, on January 23, 1929. Earlene, as she was fondly known, attended public schools in Pine Bluff, Ark. She enrolled in the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 1946 and transferred to Hampton Institute (now University) in 1947. Frankie graduated from Hampton with a degree in nursing in 1951. While employed as a nurse in New York, she received a fellowship to attend New York University and earned a master's degree in administration and supervision. She was a District Supervisor for the Bedford, Brownsville and Ft. Green districts over a span of 30 years and retired as an Executive for Public Health Nursing. Frankie accepted Christ at an early age. She joined Hollis Presbyterian Church in New York and was active for many years. She later joined St. Peter Baptist Church, where she served with the Ladies Ministry, Finance Ministry and the Senior Citizens Ministry. She was an active member of Zeta Chapter of the Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. and Richmond Chapter of the National Hampton Alumni Association, Inc. Frankie is survived by her devoted and loving husband, Col. (ret.) Robert H. Smith Sr.; one granddaughter, Tiffani Gadsden; two great-grandchildren, Dontate and Alena of Tampa, Fla.; two stepsons, Maj. (ret.) Robert H. Smith Jr. (Patricia) of Hampton, Va., and Tyrone A. Smith (Brenda Kay) of Stockbridge, Ga.; three stepgrandchildren, Jerron E. Myers (Jamie), Alexis and Marla; one stepgreat-granddaughter, Jillian; and a host of other relatives and friends. Remains rest at Walter J. Manning Funeral Home, 700 N. 25th Street, where the family will receive friends Friday (today), February 1, 2013 from 6 to 7 p.m. Homegoing services will be held Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter Baptist Church, 2040 Mountain Rd., Glen Allen, Va. Rev. Dr. Kirkland R. Walton, pastor, officiating. Burial Signal Hill Memorial Park.
This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.