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October 04, 2015
Francis K. ‘Smokey’ Williams
Jul 25, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Francis K. “Smokey” Williams, 90, of Gainesville, died Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in his Willow Brooke Court residence.

Smokey was born Feb. 17, 1923, in Lynchburg, Va. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He was a Jeffersonian. Smokey was a Navy pilot with the U.S. Naval Reserve for 20 years and was recalled to active duty three times, serving during World War II, the Korean War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was based out of Jacksonville and Miami, Fla. He also served with the Federal Aviation Administration in Miami and Orlando, Fla., for over 30 years. When he retired at 65 he was the deputy chief of the FAA Orlando tower at Orlando International Airport. He was always an active member in his local church. In Winter Park, Fla., he was council president of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Retiring to Sky Valley, he was council member and president for a number of years at Chapel of Sky Valley. Smokey was happily married for 59 years to Bette. Together they raised three daughters: Cheryl Ann, Cynthia Lynn and Christine Marie. Smokey was grandfather of five: Don Saunders III, Caroline Saunders, Catherine Riley, Frances Chase and Paul Chase Jr.

A memorial service was held Wednesday at Chapel of Sky Valley.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Smokey Williams Memorial Fund for Chapel of Sky Valley, which he was so much a part of for so many years.

Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory in Buford was in charge of arrangements. An online guestbook is available at