Benjamin Franklin Smith, 82, of Hendersonville, N.C. died unexpectedly Thursday, March 15, 2012.
Born June 23, 1929 in Colver, PA, Ben was preceded in death by his parents George E. Smith and Jessie M. Smith and brother George E. Smith Jr.
He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years Kathey Smith, two brothers, David H. and Ray V. Smith and three sisters Betsy Kane, Alice Pillock, and Letty Morgan. He is also survived by four children, one stepdaughter, and two stepgrandchildren.
Ben spent his childhood in Ebensburg, PA and was honorably discharged from the Army in 1948. In 1970, Ben was made a Master of the Royal Secret of the 32 Degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Ben was a talented licensed general contractor and the owner of The Swiss Chalets in Asheville for over 25 years. He was an experienced hunter and made many trips to Colorado, Wyoming, and Canada. Ben was also a passionate pilot and flew his own planes for many years. Throughout his life, Ben enjoyed gardening and birds with a special interest in rhododendron, azaleas and blue birds.
A visitation will be held at Shuler Funeral Home in Hendersonville Monday, March 19 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. A 7:00 p.m. service will follow in the chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org, select Donate Now.