Byron Phillip Smathers, Sr.

  • Born: September 22, 1925
  • Died: January 21, 2018
  • Location: Melbourne, Florida

Ibert's Mortuary

1007 Main St.
P. O. Box 236
Franklin, LA 70538

Tel. (337) 828-5426

Tribute & Message From The Family


Funeral Services will be held Saturday, January 27, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at Ibert's Mortuary in Franklin for Byron Phillip Smathers, Sr., who passed away at the age of 92 on Sunday, January 21, 2018, at his daughter's home in Satellite Beach, FL. He will be laid to rest in the Franklin Cemetery. Rev. Dr. Chris Holloway will conduct the services. A gathering of family and friends will be held at Ibert's on Friday from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and again Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until service time.

Byron is survived by his daughter, Catherine S. Mire and her husband Ted J. Mire, Jr.; his sister, Jane Hindman; his grandchildren, Michael A. "Mike" Smathers, Sr. and his wife Jennifer, Linda L. Smathers, Brian K. Gautreaux and his wife Jean, Logan P. Mire, Andrea D. Smathers, and Ashley S. Uze and her husband Charles. He also knew the joy of four great-grandsons, Michael A. Smathers, Jr., Connor A. Simoneaux, Collin D. Simoneaux and Cooper A. Uze; as well as numerous nieces and nephews who held a special place in his heart. His dog Rex was his faithful companion.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Lorene W. Smathers; his three sons, Byron P. "Phil" Smathers, Jr., Michael E. "Mickey" Smathers, and Daniel W. "Danny" Smathers; his brother Horace Smathers; and his parents, James and Cora Smathers.

Byron was born on September 22, 1925 in Limestone, Pennsylvania and at the age of 17, enlisted in the United States Navy during WWII. He completed Radio Training for both the Navy and the United States Army which qualified him to be a Beach Master Radio Operator. He obtained the rank of Radioman 3rd Class. He participated in numerous actions and landings on Japanese held islands. He was a Life Member of both the American Legion and the VFW.

Mr. Smathers was a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelors Degree in Education and held a Masters Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. A flip of a coin between two job opportunities sent him to Dallas, Texas to begin his career as a carpet and drapery buyer for a major store of the time. Subsequent opportunities led him to Shreveport and New Orleans before moving to Franklin, LA in 1974. Mr. Smathers was a 32 year resident of Franklin, where he and his wife owned and operated the Montgomery Ward Catalog Stores in Franklin and Morgan City, Acadia Rent All, Budget Furniture, and The Drink Factory. They also owned and managed numerous residential and commercial properties. In 2006, he and his wife moved to Melbourne, Florida where he finally retired.

Byron's love for playing pool and teaching others the strategies of the game brought him much joy and his family much pride. After 73 years of playing pool, in 2010, his dream of making it to Las Vegas to play in the APA National Championship Tournament came true! At the Local Team Championships, Byron's winning match was the one that secured his team, Killin' Time's, spot in Vegas. At 84 years old, he was the oldest player competing in the National Championship competition.

He enjoyed sharing his knowledge of business with all who wanted to learn and was a mentor to many. His patience, work ethic, and dedication to providing a secure life for his family kept him young.
Byron's greatest love was for his family. When he and his wife lost their sons, his strength through heartbreak set an example for the family on how to persevere. He treasured his close, loving relationship with each of them. The family plans to continue living their lives based on the example that he set until they are reunited once again in Heaven.

Family and friends may view the obituary and express their condolences online by visiting www.iberts.com.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ibert's Mortuary, Inc., 1007 Main Street, Franklin, LA 70538, (337) 828-5426.


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

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Byron was an amazing person. Joy to talk with and get to know. Rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Posted by Tripp Family    February 01, 2018

My condolences to the Smathers family at this time. I remember my husband Donald, and Mr. Smathers having long conversations about almost any topic. He will be truly missed. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Amy Edwards - Franklin, LA - Acquaintance   January 27, 2018

Cathy, your Dad was a master entrepreneur and all around wonderful gentleman. God Bless you all...✝

Posted by David Burleigh - Franklin, LA - Family Friend   January 25, 2018

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Our Prayers and Thoughts are with Bryon at this time as well as with his Family. Kristi Lynn Rushing LaBauve, Lauren and Jason Rushing, Frances and Hudson Rushing, Jr., Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus/Council #1420, Franklin, Louisiana.

Posted by Hudson Rushing, Jr. - Franklin, LA - Family Friend   January 24, 2018

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Rip Mr. Smathers

Posted by RANDY DELCAMBRE - Franklin, LA - Friend   January 24, 2018

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What a beautiful, well written obituary, one of the best I have ever read. I know this is especially hard on you Cathy, as you & your dad had a very loving & close relationship. You are all in our prayers for strength to carry on his legacy. We will forever remember the good times that we shared with both your mom & dad. I know his family in heaven was there to greet him with open arms. Thank you for serving our country. May you rest in "sweet peace" Mr. Byron~

Posted by Lisa & Buddy LeBlanc - Charenton, LA - Family Friend   January 24, 2018

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To The Smather's Family

So very sorry for your loss. please know we are keeping y'all in our thouhgts and prayers.

Jennifer LeBlanc & Creig Ronsonet

Posted by Jennifer LeBlanc - Charenton, LA - Family Friend   January 24, 2018

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Catherine and Family-Uncle B was the best uncle anyone could hope for. I have so many memories of him patiently teaching me how to play pool.(Surprising both of us if I actually won!) Always going out to play a "few" when he and Aunt Lorene came to Texas to visit. I always had to get permission from Aunt Lorene for him to come out to play. (He always had a curfew he would try and get me to break! lol) We had great times together. His love for his family was evident in all he said and did. Always taking care of "your old aunt" as he lovingly referred to Aunt Lorene to me . Knowing we have a great family reunion to look forward to helps ease the pain. The hole will be there until then. Thanks for always sharing him. Thoughts, prayers and love to each of you. Vicki, Bob and family

Posted by Vicki Keith - Bivins, TX - Family   January 24, 2018

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Byron many years ago through Cathy. Mr. Byron was always doing something around the house, yard or wherever he was needed. Mr. Byron had a lot of knowledge and incite that most people do not have, he was a very kind person and you could not help but feel love and respect for him. Cathy, your dad will be greatly missed by all. You and your family are always in my prayers.

Posted by Debora & Eddy Burke - Verdunville, LA - Family Friend   January 24, 2018

My condolences to Mr. Smathers family. He was an ex landlord and a dear friend. We love and will miss him so much.

Posted by Melissa Patty - New Iberia, LA - Friend   January 23, 2018

Our Uncle Byron, our lives were touched by you in so many ways, your presence will be missed, your memories cherished, and our hearts are heavy but you are so happy being reunited with those that were waiting for your arrival! Praying for each one of you Catherine. We love you all and we are asking for God to comfort you with strength and peace in the days ahead. We loved our Uncle Byron, and he loved us. He was an amazing person, husband, Daddy, Papaw, Uncle, and friend! Rest In Peace...❤

Posted by Louis and Barbie Weems - Atlanta, TX - Family   January 23, 2018

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Offering our deepest condolences and prayers to you and your family during this difficult time. May Mr. Byron rest in God's eternal peace and may our Lord Jesus Christ console your hearts as only He can.

Posted by the staff of Ibert's Mortuary - Franklin, LA   January 23, 2018