Francis Vernon Smith

Francis Vernon Smith

It is with heavy hearts that the family of Francis Vernon Smith, aged 67, announces his passing on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Vernon was born in Chewelah Washington and was the eldest of 4 children born to Vernon H. and Lois L Smith. He graduated from Mead High School in 1970, where he was active in football and wrestling. In 1974, he married his high school sweetheart Debra Witiuk.

He was a talented master craftsman. He loved to construct solid buildings and fireplaces with brick, block and stone using his strong hands. He had the soul of an artist and enjoyed seeing his customers’ appreciation of his works of art more than the money they paid him to do it. His handiwork can be seen all around Eastern Washington. Vern was a good listener with a dry sense of humor that always seem to hold a special meaning leaving his family to decipher his words and jokes for years beyond the conversation.

He was most comfortable outdoors and loved the feeling of wind and sun on his face. His favorite past times we’re playing chess, hunting, fishing and talking about fishing. He was a crack shot and could hit a milk jug with a Winchester 30-30 at 300 yards with no scope.

If you ever asked him about his favorite achievement in life, he would tell you that his family made him the richest man in the world. His 4 children, daughter Jessica Smith Asechliman (Scott), sons Nathanael VanNoy, Joseph Smith (Megan) and Timothy Smith along with his 7 grandchildren, Chantell, Nolan, Norah, Piper, Cooper, Ashlyn and Ava were all the pride and joy of his life.

He was a lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints where it brought him great joy to act as Santa for his church’s family Christmas program for the past 3 years.

Vernon is survived by his devoted wife of 50 years, Debbie, who was by his side faithfully during these last several months in and out of the hospital as well as his brave battle with diabetes over the past 25 years. He is also survived by his mother Lois and his brother Norman Smith (Heather). He was preceded in death by his brothers Richard and Steven; and his father, Vernon H. Smith. He will be deeply missed by his extended Witiuk family, and many longtime friends from church and school.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 23rd from 12pm – 4pm at Heritage Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Friday, May 24th at 11am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2112 W. Francis Ave., Spokane, WA 99205.