Cover photo for Franklin J. Smith's Obituary
Franklin J. Smith Profile Photo
1923 Franklin 2018

Franklin J. Smith

December 22, 1923 — April 30, 2018

Franklin John Smith, 94, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 30, 2018 at Morningstar Senior Living in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Frank was born on December 22, 1923 in Bothwell, Utah to Howard Rasmus and Hortense Maud Hunsaker Smith. Frank grew up in Treasureton and Cleveland, Idaho, but spent some of his early years living in Rupert, Idaho with his grandparents.

In 1943, Frank joined the United States Army and served in Texas, California, and the Philippines during World War II. After his military service, he met Opal La Rue Gibson at a dance in Preston, Idaho in 1946. They were married six months later on April 1, 1947. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Logan Temple on August 10, 1961. Together, Frank and Opal raised their family in Pocatello, Idaho.

Frank was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many callings, including officiator in the Idaho Falls Temple for 14 years. He passed that legacy of faith on to his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Frank was always ready to go for a drive. He worked as a salesman for Wonder Bread for 33 years, driving a Wonder Bread truck on routes throughout southeast Idaho. After he retired from Wonder Bread, he worked as a bus driver for the Pocatello Transit for seven years. He especially loved this retirement job, which combined his love for driving with a chance to visit with people. When Frank wasn't driving for work, he and Opal traveled for fun. They visited places from Alaska to Texas and from the Oregon Coast to New England, often with Frank at the wheel.

After Frank retired from driving a bus, he volunteered with the Pocatello Police Department. With their help, he received his GED when he was 79 years old.

Frank and Opal moved to Morningstar Senior Living in Idaho Falls in 2014. Frank enjoyed an active lifestyle while there, participating in group outings to baseball games and other activities. In 2017, he and Opal celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with an open house at Morningstar.

Frank is survived by his wife of 71 years, Opal, and their three children, Carolyn Kunze, Deer Park, Washington; Lorraine (Steve) Hiltbrand, Idaho Falls; Kevin (Ann) Smith, Pocatello; six grandchildren, and fourteen great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his son-in-law William Kunze.

The family would like to express special thanks to the staff members of Morningstar and Encompass Home Health.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Wilks Funeral Home, 211 W. Chubbuck Road. A viewing will be held 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. prior to services. Interment will follow services at the Whitney, Idaho Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family online at

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the "Tribute Wall" tab above.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Franklin J. Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, May 12, 2018

9:30 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, May 12, 2018

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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