Francis Smith

Obituary
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Francis W. K. "Bill" "Frank" Smith - beloved father, husband, grandfather, dedicated town leader and well-known Cambridge Real Estate attorney passed away on February 15, 2013 at 85 years of age. A Lexington resident since 1955, Frank was married to the late Jacquelyn R. Smith, former Chair of the Lexington Board of Selectman. He leaves behind his son Dwight Fraser of Jamaica Plain; his son Frank Smith of Lexington and his wife May Pian-Smith; and his daughter, Laurie Smith Peck and her husband Donald Peck. He had four grandchildren, Ben Smith, Jade Smith, Andrew Peck, and Amanda Peck, all of Lexington. Frank grew up in Somerville and graduated from Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School. He ran his own law practice - Bicknell & Smith - for 50 years in Boston and Cambridge. He was an avid squash player and a member of the University Club of Boston for many years. Lexington is graced with beautiful parcels of conservation land and open space throughout the Town thanks to Frank's legal guidance as a Conservation Commission Member for over 20 years. Frank's unwavering devotion and long years of service to his community helped shape the character and beauty of Lexington. His careful examination of land titles and expertise in creating real estate exchanges, combined with Frank's passionate commitment to the environment, helped contribute to the success of the Conservation Commission. Frank also served as a Lexington Town Meeting Member for over 26 years. Every election, rain or snow, Frank was outside the voting locations, often with his kids, holding his sign and encouraging people to vote. Frank also brought his land use knowledge and understanding of Lexington zoning to the Board of Appeals for 15 years. His patience and thorough examination of each case (through site visits to parcels discussed and attentive document review) were highly valued. His calm and professional approach was always counted upon, even in the most difficult and complex deliberations. He and his wife, Jacquie, were active members of Hancock Church during the 1950's and 1960's. Frank was a member of the Tandem Club and the Men's Club. He was the Sunday School Superintendent and performed in many of the dramatic productions that Hancock produced, including The Diary of Anne Frank and several old time melodramas. In 1970, Frank and Jacquie bought a farm in Warner, NH, where they gardened and raised goats, chickens and horses, spending most every weekend and summers at "Butternut Farm." As a gentleman farmer, Frank loved to share the farm's produce and eggs with friends and clients alike. Frank also made time to give back to his community as a leader in a number of civic organizations. Frank was the past president of the Rotary Club of Cambridge and also a three time Paul Harris Fellow. He had over 35 years of perfect weekly attendance at Rotary meetings. He was a Past President of the Lexington Chapter of the John Abbott Lodge; Trustee of the Somerville Home for the Aged; Director of Cambridge Visiting Nurses Association; Director of the Friends of the Cambridge Council on Aging; and Director of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Frank valiantly lived with Parkinson's Disease for the past 16 years and regularly participated in the Unity Walk in NYC to raise money to find a cure for this debilitating condition. His children, grandchildren and many adoring nieces and nephews would join him at the Unity Walk to make it a real celebration. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, March 16 at Hancock Church, 1912 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Frank's name to the Rotary Club of Cambridge, P.O. Box 410347, Cambridge, MA 02141.

Published in The Lexington Minuteman from Feb. 26 to Mar. 5, 2013
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