Freeman Smith III

Freeman Holmes Smith III

1943 - 2023

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Obituary of Freeman Holmes Smith III

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Freeman Holmes Smith III, of Stuart, FL, and Hammondsport, NY passed away on July 24, 2023, in Rochester, NY at the age of 80 years, surrounded by his loving family. 

Smith was born in Elmira, NY on May 16, 1943, to Dr. Freeman H. Smith Jr., and Helen E. Litteer, where his father maintained a Dentistry practice. Freeman graduated from Wellsboro- Charleston Joint Senior High School, in 1961. While there he played tight-end, #23, for the Green Hornets for three years, was voted ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ by his peers, and led the student council as president his senior year. 

He graduated in 1964, with his B.B.A. degree, from the University of Pittsburgh and was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity Epsilon Beta Chapter. Upon graduation, he began his 35- year long career (1965-2000) with the then, Corning Glass Works (GLW), now Corning Incorporated. 

During his tenure with Corning Incorporated he held various leadership positions, including startup support for the Bradford manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania and additional personnel management roles including Frederick, MD, and across New York State in Oneonta, Big Flats, and at the former Fall Brook Plant in downtown Corning. 

Later in his career, under the direction of Jamie and Amory (Amo) Houghton Jr., he started the Government Affairs Division of Corning Incorporated and became Division Vice President and Director of State and Regulatory Affairs. It was there where Freeman’s political passion came to light.

He became actively involved as the chairman of the Steuben County Republican Committee, was an active member of the 1984 Electoral College, and a Trustee of the Insurance Fund of The Business Council of New York State. He acted as an advisor to many local political leaders and was Amo Houghton’s campaign chair when he first ran for the United States Congress in 1986. He was a trustee of the Governmental Research and Education Fund as well as a former Co- Chair of the State Gubernatorial Platform Committee. In 1998, he was listed in the Who’s Who of American Politics.

Freeman had a passion for scouting and was a former director of the Five Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America and past president. While there, he led many capital fundraising campaigns and was awarded with the distinguished services to youth, Silver Beaver Award, in 1977. He was also a past director of the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, The Livonia, Avon, Lakeview Railroad Corp., and the Bath National Bank. He served on the Corning-Painted Post School Board (1973-1976) and was a former director of the New York State Trooper Foundation.

He was the third generation of his family to live on Keuka Lake and loved the Finger Lakes region. He was an executive committee member of the Keuka Lake Association, and an admiral of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. He was a member of the Keuka Yacht Club and raced E Scows competitively in his youth. He was also a 100-ton Captain, licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard, and enjoyed boating in Florida and the Bahamas with his friends and family.

He led a full life filled with compassion and enthusiasm for his family and friends. His door was always open for good stories and great times. Many thought he was larger than life.

Freeman is survived by longtime partner Michelle M. James; sister Susan S. Reynolds of Stuart, FL; sons Freeman H. Smith IV “Chip” of Saint Paul, MN, and Russell B. Smith Sr. “Rusty” (Eiron), grandchildren; Whitney E. and Russell B. Jr. “Bradley”. Nephew; John Stephen Reynolds Jr. of NJ, Niece; Beth Reynolds Lesher of Stuart, FL; Great Nieces and Nephew; Macy E. Lesher, TX, and Paige A. Eckardt (Hank) of Washington, DC, and John S. Reynolds III “Jack”, NJ.

The family will host a Celebration of Life on August 17 from 5-7:30, at the Pleasant Valley Wine Company’s Visitors Center located 8260 Pleasant Valley Road, Hammondsport NY. They will also host a gathering for Florida friends and family sometime later this year in Stuart, FL. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Finger Lakes SPCA, 72 Cameron Street, Bath NY, or the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, 890 NE Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL.

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Celebration of Life

5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Thursday, August 17, 2023
Pleasant Valley Wine Company's Visitors Center
8260 Pleasant Valley Road
Hammondsport, New York, United States
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Freeman Smith III

In Loving Memory

Freeman Smith III

1943 - 2023

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