Franklin Smuin b. 11 September 1893, d. 6 April 1959

Smuin, Franklin Portrait side view

Today is the birthday of my grandfather, Franklin Smuin.  I was born 5 January 1959 in Reedley, CA.  Franklin and Ruby Smuin were my mother’s parents.  Grandma Ruby died of breast cancer on the 6th of February a month after I was born.  Grandpa Franklin died on 6 April 1959, just a few weeks later.

Franklin Smuin was born and raised in Ogden, Utah, the 8th of 11 children.  His parents were John M. Smuin and Harriet Matilda Barker.  His father owned a grocery store in Ogden and was one of the first immigrants to arrive in Ogden by rail.  The Smuin family came from Radley, England.

Grandpa Frank came to Reedley that April–he’d come to meet me!  Grandpa missed his dear wife, Ruby terribly.  On the morning he died, he told my mom that he had nothing left to live for, he was ready to go.  Later that day, while sitting at the dining room table, he had a heart attack and died.  I wish I could have known him.  At least our earthly paths crossed before he left us.

I never knew my Smuin grandparents.  I wish I had.  They seem like lovely people.  Here is a biography my mother wrote about her father, Franklin Smuin.

Franklin Smuin
My father, Franklin Smuin, was born in Ogden, Utah, September 11, 1893. He had been an accountant, graduating from Ricks Academy in Rexburg, Idaho. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the California Mission and was honorably released on September 10, 1917.  Joseph E. Robinson was then President of the California Mission.
Smuin, Frank with EldersSmuin Franklin Missionary, top leftElder Smuin is on the far left in the back top row.

On June 27, 1918, Dad enlisted in the United States Army as a Private of the 27th Casual Cantonment, Vancouver, Bks, Washington. He was honorably discharged from the service on October 12, 1918 by reason of disability. While he served in the Army in World War I he became deathly ill with influenza and pneumonia and nearly died. It affected his heart and his health the rest of his life. He received Disabled Veteran benefits for the rest of his life.
Smuin, Franklin WWII Registration CardHe married my mother on September 11, 1924 in the Salt Lake Temple. Soon after they were married, Dad became very ill with inflammatory rheumatism and was in the hospital for some time.Salt Lake Temple 1987-1924

They moved to Glendale, California, and after a year or so they decided to go back to Salt Lake by train. Mom was pregnant with their first child, and they found a home on Westminister Ave. and Aunt Elsie lived with them.

Glen was born, a beautiful little blond baby, but at age 1 ½ had the misfortune to get a mastoid ear infection. He was operated on and could not pull through. He died on December 12, 1928.
Smuin, Glen headstone Forest Lawn LA

Soon after, they moved to California again. I was born on January 14, 1930. Perhaps Dad was still saddened by the death of his first born son and I filled some of the emptiness in his life. My sister, Marilyn Joan, was born on August 3, 1935. My f00ather was a kind and gentle man and loved his family. I felt a warmth with my dad and we were close.

Smuin Home San Gabriel CA
Smuin home in San Gabriel, CA.

My dad spent many hours at the library, reading and studying and was very knowledgeable about scientific matters and politics. I remember many heated discussions of political issues with Dad and my Uncle “Doc” Pugmire. My dad studied the scriptures and was a student of the Gospel. He wrote a treatise (or manuscript) called The Divine Plan of Creation. He worked on this for many years but never saw it reviewed for publication, He became inactive in the Church when I was very young. I have never known why.

2015-08-29_142905   Smuin, Frank & Ruby at Grace's wedding 1954
He was devoted to my mother and loved her deeply. He called her “My Jewel.” When she was ill with cancer and became progressively worse, it was devastating to him and he became disturbed and eventually needed psychiatric care. For awhile he was at Norwalk State Hospital in California. He was released just days before Mom’s death on February 19, 1959. This was traumatic for him and he died of a heart attack six weeks after her death. He was living with us in Reedley, California. Dr. Marden Habegger, our family physician, signed the Certificate of Death: “death caused by Acute Myocardial Infarction-instant, due to Coronary Scelerosis and Myocardial Heart Disease.” Also listed, “Diabetes 1 year, and Hypertension, 5 years. He died at age 65. No autopsy was performed. He was such a good man. I loved him.

My mother and dad are buried in Forest Lawn memorial Park, Glendale, California, Los Angeles.

Smuin, Frank & Ruby headstones Forest Lawn     Smuin, Franklin headstone

Marriage Index:Smuin, Franklin -Ruby Marriage

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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2 Responses to Franklin Smuin b. 11 September 1893, d. 6 April 1959

  1. chmjr2 says:

    Very nice posting. I enjoyed reading this well told story. This is what we should all try to do in genealogy, to bring past family alive.

  2. Pingback: Out of the Office -I just wish it was for Fishing | Michael's Origins

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