Gary Stephen Smith (“Smitty”) surrendered peacefully at home on Monday, August 19, 2019, after a two-year cancer journey. Today we mourn the passing of a beloved friend, brother, uncle, nephew, and partner.
Smitty was born in Corbin, Kentucky, on June 3, 1953, the eldest son of Pete Franklin and BettyLou Smith.
Although he had a less than average lifespan, Steve did not live an average life. A two-sport star at Young High School in both baseball and basketball, he served in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Myrtle Beach, S.C. Upon his service completion, he began his career in managing nightclubs and the food and beverage industry, most notably a Holiday Inn and 2001VIP nightclub. This experience enabled him to own and operate a restaurant and bar, Smidrees on Myrtle Beach. Recently Steve’s love of the outdoors led him to own his own thriving lawn business on Martha’s Vineyard, the Lawn Ranger.
Steve never backed down from challenges due to his adventurous spirit. This included beating cancer once! His contagious smile always lit up the room, as he loved to be “the big brother” of the Smith boys, and entertain family and friends with his love of music and drink, especially his famous margaritas. He loved boating and having that George Hamilton tan.
Smitty left us, however, without achieving his lifelong goals of jumping out of a plane, driving across the country with his partner Linda and their dog Charley by his side, mowing an entire professional baseball field, or chowing down on one more Krystal burger.
Boy, did he ever know how to show a girl a good time; that being said, he absolutely had his hard-shell ways. However, we will all miss him dearly, and find much laughter in the memories of Smitty’s shenanigans.
He was predeceased by his sister Laura, and leaves behind three brothers and their wives, Perry and Robbie and nephew Brett of Knoxville, Tenn., Scott and Rhonda of Ruston, La., and Chris and Jackie of Knoxville; also his Aunt Jane of Troy, Ala., his Aunt Peggy of Indianapolis, Ind., his Uncle Roy and Aunt Susie of Dayton, Ohio, and many cousins; his beloved partner, Linda Dellatorre of Sarasota, Fla., and Martha’s Vineyard, and her family, Erin, Avery, and Micah Simmons of Martha’s Vineyard.
There will be a celebration of his life in Knoxville, Tenn., at Broadway Baptist Church on Sept. 14, 2019. Family will gather with friends from 3 to 5 pm, with a service at 5 pm.