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Mr. Alvin Smith (Deceased)

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Obituary:

Alvin Smith
(November 21, 1923 - January 13, 2011)

Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 15, 2011, at First Baptist Church in Lafayette for Mr. Alvin Smith, 87, who died at home in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 13, 2011. Doctor Steve Horn, Pastor of First Baptist Church, will officiate. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.

Mr. Smith, affectionately known to so many as “Frazz” and “7-Up Smitty”, was born in Thornwell in Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, October 21, 1923 to Albert and Ophelia Smith.

He grew up in Jennings, and at the young age of 12, he began work at the 7-Up Bottling Company sorting bottles. Little did he know at that time that he was embarking into an industry that would become a life-time career.

He graduated in 1942 from Jennings High School, where he had played fullback on their football team. He went on to serve in the armed forces between 1942 and 1943 in the United States Army. In 1944, he married the love of his life, Patricia Treadway, his wife of nearly 67 years.

In 1950, Mr. Smith and his young family moved to Lafayette, where he became manager of the 7-Up Plant. Within three short years, in 1953, he purchased the Lafayette 7-Up facility. Being the visionary he was, he began to groom the company for a robust growth period leading to further acquisitions of the 7-Up Bottling Company of New Iberia, the Pepsi Plant in Franklin in 1969, and subsequently the Dr. Pepper Plant in Lafayette in 1975. That same year, because his company handled such a diverse range of soft drink products, he decided to “re-brand” his company by forming a new corporate name, Acadiana Bottling Company, under which Dr. Pepper, Pepsi and 7-Up products, along with a myriad of others would be marketed throughout Acadiana.

Aside from his illustrious career in the bottling business, his life revolved around family, friends, church and community. He had a great love of music. He played the piano by ear and often filled in to lead singing of the church congregation. He participated in numerous organizations. At the time of his death, he was a member of the First Baptist Church, the Petroleum Club and the Oakbourne Country Club. In years past, he was a member of other business organizations such as the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, numerous Bottlers Associations including the National and Louisiana Soft Drink Associations, and the Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up and Dr. Pepper Bottlers’ Associations. In addition to business-related organizations, he participated and contributed to community-based organizations such as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation and the Acadiana Symphony. Perhaps one of his greatest community contributions was the many years that he supported The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Not only was he an avid supporter, but also a significant contributor to the university, whether it was through an endowed scholarship, or through contributions to the UL Athletic Association. In the lobby of the UL Athletic Complex is a plaque honoring Patricia and Alvin Smith.



Mr. Smith has been the recipient of many awards and accolades through the years. Among some of those were the “John Reese National Community Leadership Award” which he was given three separate times, The Times of Acadiana “Business Achievement” Award, and the Star Award presented to him by the Arts Council.



Beyond the love that he had for his wife and family, he was truly a very friendly and benevolent person, never doing a good deed for recognition nor ever expecting or wanting anything in return. His very affable personality was sincere in nature, and maybe that’s why everyone loved “Frazz”. He had a long, wonderful and productive life, and if he would have had one last thing to say, it would have probably been “I’m glad you got to see me.”

He is survived by his wife, Patricia, four children, Bobbie Smith, Larry Smith and wife Kay Harrison Smith, Dennis Smith and wife Mary Lee Smith, and Dale Smith and wife Felicia Lagneaux Smith. He is also survived by sixteen grandchildren, Mark Baker, Patricia Harper, Alison Ray, Jason Smith, Rebecca Ventre, Jessica Cook, Elizabeth Smith, Dennis Smith Jr., Matthew Smith, Michael Smith, Stephen Smith, Brandy Girouard, Ronnie Frazz Smith, Austin Smith, Kellie Breaux and Caitlin Caldwell.

Mr. Smith is also survived by fourteen great grandchildren, two sisters, Agnes Hebert and Eunice Duhon, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceeded in death by his parents and brothers, Ben Smith, Wallace Smith, Richard Smith and George Smith.

The family would like to thank Dr. David Baker and The Heart Hospital for their excellent care, Caring Touch Sitting Agency, especially Amanda, Cindy, Delores, Patrina and Shawn for their love, support and excellent care of Mr. Smith. A special “thank you” goes out to Hospice of Acadiana for their love, support, and guidance during Mr. Smith’s final month of life, and to Dr. Harold Chastant, and the Hospice Nurse, Jolane, for their wonderful Christian care and support.

Pallbearers will be Mr. Smith’s eight grandsons: Mark Baker, Jason Smith, Dennis Smith Jr., Matthew Smith, Michael Smith, Stephen Smith, Ronnie Smith and Austin Smith. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Marcel Bulliard, Ed Dauterive, Dr. Harold Chastant, Jack Naumann, Kioke Ringo, Bill Jarrell, Bob Owen, Luther Burney, and Billy Tew.

Visitation will be observed on Saturday, January 15, 2011, at First Baptist Church, 1100 Lee Avenue, Lafayette, from 10:00 am until the time of service at 2:00pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston Street, Ste 200, Lafayette, LA, 70503 or to First Baptist Church, Attn: Vision 71, 1100 Lee Avenue, Lafayette, LA, 70501.

Personal condolences may be sent to the Smith family at www.delhommefuneralhome.com.

Delhomme Funeral Home, 1011 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, LA, is in charge of funeral arrangements.
Friend Of Athletic Network (FAN):  2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Military Veteran:  1942, 1943


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