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Rusty "Francis" George Smith, 56

Rusty "Francis" George Smith, 56, of Red Lake, died at his home Friday, Dec. 26, 2008.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. today at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Red Lake with the Rev. Pat Sullivan officiating. The wake began Sunday at the Red Lake Community Center in Red Lake. Burial will be in the Redby Episcopal Church Cemetery. A celebration of life luncheon will follow at the Red Lake Community Center.

Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home of Bemidji assisted the family with arrangements.

The pallbearers will be Michael Barrett, Jim "Jimmy-O" Oakgrove, Willy Strong, Harlow Spears, Herman Donnell, Julius "Toady" Thunder, Arlie Barrett and Royce Graves III.

Honorary pallbearers will be his siblings and Raymond "Oogie" White, Scott Graves, Rex Strong, Roger Strong, Karen Jones and the police officers, who will conduct an honorary salute.

He was born on Feb. 4, 1952, to Donald Smith and Jean (Sargent) Smith in Red Lake. He attended schools at St. Mary's Mission school in Red Lake and graduated from Red Lake High School in 1970. He married April Oliver on Oct. 8, 1994, in Red Lake and they had four children. He served in the U.S. Army and completed basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. He attended AIT training in El Paso, Texas. He was a commercial fisherman. He was also employed by the Red Lake Comprehensive Health Services as an ambulance driver. He worked as a Red Lake Tribal Police Officer and security guard at Seven Clans Casino in Red Lake. He owned and operated Smith's Carpet Cleaning.

He enjoyed hunting, bowling, softball and baseball. He participated in five state baseball tournaments and four national championships. He was homecoming king in 1970. He enjoyed sports and encouraged his children to participate in sports.

He is survived by his mother; sons, Jesse (Holly) Smith Sr. and Jeffrey Oliver, both of Red Lake; daughters, Leah Barrett of Bemidji, Julie Smith of Bemidji and Joylyn Oliver, both of Red Lake and five grandchildren; siblings, Betty Cordie, Tudy Smith, Vicki Smith, Dawna Baird, Russell Smith, Terry Lussier, Barry Lussier, Kerry Lussier, Sherry Lussier, Garry Lussier, Gary Graves, Royce Graves Jr., Darlene Lussier, Eloise Graves-Jallen, Joseph Graves and Allen Oliver.

He was preceded in death by his father; brother, Preston Graves; sister, Carol Kugel; and an aunt and uncle.

An online guestbook is at