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Frederick A. Smith

Obituary for Frederick A. Smith

August 22, 1930 - December 23, 2017
Elyria, Ohio | Age 87

Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Veteran, Community Leader


Frederick A. Smith, 87, of Elyria passed away Saturday, December 23, 2017 at St. John Medical Center in Westlake following a short illness. He was born August 22, 1930 in Elyria.

Frederick loved his country, his community, and his family. He served his country in the United States Army and fought in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, serving in Panama, Korea, Germany, and Vietnam. While serving in Korea, he met his lifelong partner and love of his life, Oknyo Smith. They married and had six children, Myong Smith (Gary), Fred Jr. Smith (Juliet), Jack Smith (April), Mary Guice, Allan Smith, and Robert Smith (Sheila). After 23 years of military service, Fred finally made a stable loving home for his family in his childhood city of Elyria, Ohio where all six children grew up with fond memories and consider Elyria their home.

Once retired, he gave so much of his time supporting the community. He coordinated funding from Nordson Corporation, where he worked for 20 years and the Army Corp of Engineers to build and renew the baseball fields behind Value City in the 1970's, giving Little League South a field of dreams to be proud of. Fred was a fine athlete and an amateur boxer during his military service. He was inducted into the Ohio Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009. He also supported the youth of Elyria with boxing and working with longtime friend Joe Gentile to produce several boxing champions from Lorain County. He trained young EHS athletes, including Olympian Tiana Madison, his children and grandchildren and kept the youth off the streets and allowed them to follow their dreams. He was active with the local NAACP and a strong advocate for improvement for Elyria and the south side. In his later years, he would volunteer at the high school with monitoring the halls and spoke with the youth if the need arose. He was a man of action and showed his love through his service and interactions with the community.

Fred wrote occasional letters on various important topics to the Elyria Chronicle Telegram and was instrumental in bringing a number of black celebrities to Elyria for community programs. This Son of Elyria, Father, Uncle, Grandfather, and Great-Grandfather will be missed but his life time of accomplishments and loving memories will remain with us forever. He will be sorely missed within the community.

Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his wife Oknyo Smith in 2011; brothers Earl (Sonny) Smith and James Smith.

He is survived by his six children; 28 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.

Friends may call 12pm-4pm Saturday, December 30 at Busch Funeral Home, 114 Second Street, Elyria.

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Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

114 Second Street
Elyria, OH 44035
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