Share your thoughts and memories in the guestbook.

Sign the guestbook
Read the guestbook

Send a Sympathy Card

Bookmark and Share

Francis "Pete" Smith

August 7, 1925 - March 18, 2014

Feature Image

Pete Smith, 88, of Pierre, passed away, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at Golden Living Center in Pierre. On December 30, 2013, Pete suffered multiple brain aneurisms which ultimately resulted in his death. On April 4, 2014, at 11:00 A.M., a memorial service will be held for Pete at Lutheran Memorial Church across the street from the Capitol Building in Pierre. Casual dress is fine. Lunch at the church will follow the cemetery inurnment service, and a social gathering at the Legion will begin at 4:00 p.m. (the Legion bar opens at 3:00 p.m.).

Pete was born Francis Eugene Smith on August 7, 1925, in Browns Valley, Minnesota to Mary DeSpiegler Smith and Francis E. Smith, who owned and farmed a truly beautiful farm on the Little Minnesota River just outside Browns Valley near the head of Lake Traverse. Pete attended Browns Valley Grade School and High School through his junior year. Pete graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School in Collegeville, MN and then attended San Bernardino College for one year where he was a running back on the football team. In September, 1944, Pete was drafted into the Navy where he served in the Pacific theater as a Seaman First Class. After the war ended, Pete served with the occupation force in Japan and was honorably discharged in July, 1946.

Following his military discharge, Pete attended Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen where he played on the Wolves football team. While attending a traveling circus in town, Pete met the “prettiest girl I had ever seen,” Lorraine Aspelund of rural Wilmot, SD. After some convincing, she attended a town dance with him, and they were inseparable from that point on. In December of 1949, Pete married Lorraine. Over the next six years, Pete and Lorraine had four children - John, Frank, Jim, and Ann. After graduating with a degree in education, Pete taught high school and coached football and other sports in Milbank and Peever for four years. In 1956, Pete went back to school at the University of South Dakota to earn a master’s degree. While at USD, Pete was offered a job with the Social Security Administration, and he elected to accept the position. In 1957, Pete and his family moved to Huron, where they lived until 1969, with the exception of one two-year work sojourn in Winner. In 1969, Pete, Lorraine, and family moved to Pierre, where Pete became the head of the newly formed Pierre Social Security office. Pete and Lorraine remained at the home they loved at 125 N. Poplar for the remainder of their lives. Prior to his retirement, at a ceremony in Baltimore, Pete was awarded the Ewell T. Bartlett Award, an award given annually by the SSA to one of its 80,000 employees for providing service to the public with both humane consideration and compassionate regard.

Pete was a very active, positive, vigorous, caring, and compassionate person who enjoyed life to the fullest. Among the many activities he actively engaged in until the end were golf, hunting and fishing, collecting and refinishing antique furniture, working in the shop, gardening, making lefse and pies (particularly rhubarb from his garden), home remodeling, attending Pierre, Stanley County, and NSU sporting events, church services at Lutheran Memorial, and drinking beer (particularly Hamm’s) at the Legion, VFW, and Dudley’s Valley Tap. When Dudley’s burned a few years ago, Pete made a sizable contribution to its reconstruction. Pete had a lifelong interest in the welfare of young people, serving not only as a high school coach, but also as a little league coach and a volunteer coach of the Stanley County youth football program for many years together with Sherm Monroe. Pete’s love for his wife Lorraine was an enduring force in his life till the end. Pete had a good sense of humor and enjoyed giving his friends and acquaintances a good-natured hard time. Everyone who met Pete enjoyed his wit and good nature. We will all miss Pete Smith.

Pete is survived by his children Ann and John, son-in-law Bob Johnston, grandchildren Abbey, Sam, Mary and Eric, granddaughter-in-law Sarah Johnston, and great grandson Soren. Pete is preceded in death by his son Jim, who died in1975, wife Lorraine, who died in 2006, and son Frank, who died in 2013. Condolences may be conveyed to the family at


Born: August 7, 1925
Death: March 18, 2014


Memorial Celebration of Life

Friday April 4, 2014, 11:00a.m. at Lutheran Memorial Church
Click for Map and Directions


Friday April 4, 2014 at Riverside Cemetery
Click for Map and Directions


Friday April 4, 2014 at Riverside Cemetery
Click for Map and Directions