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September 1, 1934 – April 9, 2023

Franklin Roosevelt Smith entered eternal rest and peace on Sunday, April 9, 2023, at Bon Secours Southside Medical Center, Petersburg, VA surrounded by his family.  

Franklin was born September 1, 1934, to the late Charlie R. Smith and Estelle C. Jones Smith of Dinwiddie County, VA. He was the fourth son born to a family of fourteen children who grew up in Dinwiddie County, VA. He received his education from the Dinwiddie County Public School System and graduated from Dinwiddie High School. 

At an early age, Franklin began his work ethics on the family farm.  Shortly thereafter, he gained employment with Seward Luggage, Imperial Reading, Southern Construction, Marcath Investment Company and Noldes Bakery.  He was also employed with the City of Petersburg as a Transit Operator for 21 years, and with the Petersburg Public Library for 10 years, retiring after 31 years of service. He really enjoyed farm life and was truly devoted to his family. Being the gentle giant that he was, you could always count on him for wise counsel. He had a great sense of humor, and his family always looked forward to hearing a funny joke when he arrived.

Franklin served his country in the United States Army and received a Honorable Discharge.

Franklin began his walk with Christ at an early age and was baptized at Olive Branch Baptist Church, Dinwiddie, VA.  After moving to Petersburg, he joined Metropolitan Baptist Church where he sang with the Male Chorus, Senior Choir, served as a Trustee, and bus driver. Later, Franklin joined Unity Baptist Church, Petersburg, VA where he sang with the Male Chorus, Senior Choir, served as a Trustee, Church Sexton, and was Chairman of the bus ministry for many years. He became Trustee emeritus after many years of faithful service. 

Franklin was preceded in death by his brothers, Charles, David, Earl, John, Henry, Lawrence and Lewis Smith; and one sister, Madeline Smith Nesbitt.

Franklin is survived by his loving and devoted wife,  Dorothy Foster Smith; daughters, Lisa Scott (Leon), Pam Howard, Cheryl Harris (Shawn) and Shawn McCurdy (Antione);  grandchildren, Shante Howard, Brian Scott, TaQuan Carry-Foster, Justin Scott, Sierra Harris and Aaliyah McCurdy; great grandchildren, Devonne Boyd and A’vahia Brown; sisters, Lillian Crawley, Lucille Blackwell (Howard), and Jean Perkins; brothers, Andrew Smith (Brenda) and Thomas Smith (Mary);  sisters-in-law, Marian Smith, Annette Howard-Jones (George), Patricia Newsom, Wanda Howard and Elnora Howard; brothers-in-law,  Linwood Jones, Randolph Howard (Gladys) and Ronnie Howard; a very devoted niece who was like a daughter, Juanita Howard; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and caring friends to include Mr. Glen Ragsdale, Mr. Charles Beasley and the Neverson’s of New York. 

Services will be held 2:00 P.M., Saturday, April 15, 2023, at Unity Baptist Church, 330 S. South Street, Petersburg, VA, the Rev. Dr. Kevin M. Northam, eulogist. The interment to follow at Wilkerson Memorial Cemetery with Military Honors.

The immediate family will assemble at the residence the day of the service for the funeral processional.

J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, watch the funeral services live online at