Fisk "Sonny" T Smith, III, age 73, was surrounded by his loving family when he took his last breath on February 4, 2021, in Boise, Idaho, after his brief, unexpected respiratory and heart failure; unrelated to COVID-19.
Sonny was born in Crowley, Louisiana, on September 4, 1947, in the closest hospital to his hometown of Gueydan, Louisiana. Sonny was the 1st of 8 children born to FT Jr and Martha Smith, who lived on Route 1 Box 15; now known as FT Smith Rd. Sonny started hunting at 3 years old. His Dad, being responsible, gave his toddler only three shells to hunt with at a time. To no surprise, Sonny would always find a way to sneak more! When he was 5 years old, he began driving the family tractor independently, starting his rice farming days. Although he earned a scholastic scholarship to LSU, he surrendered it to a classmate so that he could continue to work the family’s rice fields. After graduating Gueydan High school, he visited his grandparents, the Ponds, in Boise, where he met his wife-to-be Kathy Jolley. She was only 11 years old at the time and lived next door to his grandparents. During the winters, he would travel to Boise to visit his grandparents and got a job at Bogus Basin, where he helped groom the mountain, build lifts and installed the lights for the ski resort. During rice season, he would go back home to farm; only to come back to Boise. He and Kathy started dating when she was 16 years old. While courting, he taught Kathy how to drive in his well-known orange & red ‘69 Judge with white interior. Kathy quickly found the key to his heart was the key to that GTO, which she started wearing on a chain around her neck.
Sonny was able to marry the love of his life when she finally turned 18; they married in Boise on November 20, 1971 starting their 49 years together! Kathy moved back home with Sonny, where he farmed and she made their home in a tiny white house off the highway. Still driving the same GTO that Sonny was known to use jumping field to field and frogging with his brothers and friends; paying no mind if Kathy had just detailed it! After a couple years, Kathy asked him to move back to Boise, and they were sealed in the Ogden Temple on January 9, 1973. He became a driver for a logging company for nearly six years before he was injured in a logging accident and was forced to change careers. Sonny became a shift supervisor at Micron before starting his career with Albertsons; a loyal employee for 25 years until retirement.
We will remember Sonny for his contagious laughter, sense of humor, his blistering single-handed crawfish peeling (where he could easily eat his body weight in one sitting), his joy of cooking, slaving over his Southern Specialties, where there was no room for mushrooms, ever! Sonny loved to watch others enjoy his food and would send you home with leftovers! As an avid Plantsman, his garden was impressive. He grew many of his own ingredients, including a vast variety of peppers that he dried for year-round enjoyment. He eagerly gave tours of his garden rows and would light up if you took a bite of something right off the plant! He LOVED his garden, almost as much as he loved and adored his beautiful wife, Kathy. He would take vegetables from his garden to the local Mexican restaurant for them to use, with the hopes of a challenge they could offer him food too spicy for him to eat.
Although his initials are FT, the "T" stands alone, without meaning. Nevertheless, many have assumed their own definition of FT, which derived from common traits passed down with the name, which shall remain unsaid here! Pops could tell stories for hours, to anyone that would listen. Many of his fascinating stories were filled with facts; however, an alligator did not bite his left hand off, but it was a gripping tale!
The Hot Pepper eating Sonny’s passing comes with a joyful reunion with friends and dear family he has not seen in a long time, as he was preceded in death by his son Nathan, his father FT Jr, and his mother Martha. Sonny is survived by his wife Kathy; children Joseph (Christine), Melisa (Troy), Michael (Elishia) Jared (Brenda), Mauria (Rafael), Matthew (Hope) and Lindsey; 23 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Siblings are Janet, James, Leo, Lottie, Dale, Mary and Gordon.
Though his body quickly tired, his spirit was full of stubbornness to be able to draw another determined breath to clearly speak "I love you" to Kathy, as she held his hand before his spirit was set free when the Lord called him into His eternal care. His final day brought family together, filling the house with immense love and gratitude for the patriarch of the family. Sonny's final wishes were to not be in pain and to take care of his dear wife in his absence. We have always revered Kathy, just as Sonny did. His passing allows us the opportunity to reciprocate her lifetime of selflessness, showing her all the love, comfort and services we can provide.
We invite you to join us for his services on Wednesday the 10th at the Stake Center, Shamrock Building located at 11443 McMillan Rd, Boise ID 83713. The viewing will be held at 10am with the Funeral services starting at 11am. Sonny will then be laid to rest at Dry Creek Cemetery.
The service will also be livestreamed; find link below.