William Lancaster "Lank" Smith (1923 - 2012)

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William Lancaster "Lank" Smith, III passed away peacefully on Monday, December 17, 2012, in Dallas, Texas. He was born in Lebanon, Kentucky on June 14, 1923. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He attended high school in Lebanon, Kentucky at St. Augustine. He joined the U. S. Army Air Force and played tailback on the Third Air Force football team. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1946. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1950. While at Notre Dame, he played football as a defensive halfback under the coaching of Frank Leahy and was part of Notre Dame's legendary undefeated and national championship teams in 1946, 1947 and 1948. While in law school, he served as the coach of the Notre Dame Freshman football team.
In 1950, he became the coach of the Jesuit High School football team in Dallas eventually guiding them to their first T.C.I.L. State Championship. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas from 1954 through 1957 and later became a partner in the law firm of Turner, White, Atwood, Meer & Francis.
In 1961, he formed his own law firm which eventually became known as Smith, Smith & Smith, LLP. He spent decades practicing law with his sons in Dallas County. His love of Notre Dame and its football team never faded. He was voted Notre Dame Man of the Year, Dallas Club, in 1954. He was elected National President of the Notre Dame Alumni Association 1965 to 1967, then served seven years as a Board Member. He served as President of the N. D. Monogram Club 1986 through 1988 then served seventeen years on its Board. He served as President of the Dallas Citizens Council for Decent Literature, Vice-President of the Cincinnati National Citizens for Decent Literature and was cited by the National Conference of Christians and Jews as a speaker on brotherhood. His Catholic faith was always strong and manifested itself in his many charitable endeavors. He served as Diocesan President of the Council of Catholic Men and received the first Bishop Gorman Holy Trinity Medal Award. He was a regular announcer for the Texas Catholic TV News Program and a member of the Serra Club. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus and served as the Grand Knight of Council #799, 1958 – 1961. He sponsored the "Smith House" at Holy Angels Residential Facility in Shreveport, LA and created and endowed the Smith – Doheny Legal Ethics Award at Notre Dame Law School.
Smith was preceded in death by his father and mother, William Lancaster Smith, Jr., and Dorothy Elinor Spalding Smith, his wife of forty-five years, Jacquelyn Hilbert Smith, his brother, Sam Spalding Smith and sister, Margaret Caroline Smith and his son, Glenn Thomas.
Survivors include: his sister, May La Motte Hoerter and husband Col. George Hoerter, his daughter, Sherry Skinner and husband Richard, his sons, Lancaster Smith IV, Scott Smith and wife Lisa, Terrence Smith, Michael Smith and wife Margie, Stephen Smith and wife Teresa, Patrick Smith and wife Shelley, Christopher Smith, Matthew Smith and Shane Smith, his grandchildren, William (Billy) Smith V, and wife Chantelle, Megan Smith Broussard and husband Branton, Katie Smith Jones and husband, Brent, Travis, Connor and Taylor Smith, Shane Smith and wife Lauren, Richard and Adam Skinner, Jacquelyn Skinner Compton and husband Mark, Barrett, Isabel and Madden Smith, Josh Smith and wife Lindsay, Jessica Smith-Salzinger and husband Stephan, Kimberly Smith, Neil, Emily and Ellen Smith, and great-grandchildren, Jack and Luke Adkins, Lane Broussard, Alice Smith, Boston and Britain Smith, Aubrey and Henson Compton.
Rosary will be held at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home, 7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX 75225 at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 at 3 p.m. at St. Rita Catholic Church, 12521 Inwood Road, Dallas, TX 75244, with Monsignor Milam Joseph presiding.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be made to Holy Angels Residential Facility, 10450 Ellerbe Road, Shreveport, LA 71106.
Published in The Lebanon Enterprise on Dec. 26, 2012
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