December 19, 1952 - May 13, 2017
Steven Ralph Smith
The world lost a true Jack of all trades on Saturday evening, May 13, 2017. Steve (Dad), born in Long Beach, California passed away suddenly at his home in San Bernardino.
The world's most thoughtful and caring Dad, husband, and friend is survived by his son Greg, his daughter Christie--and their mother/his first wife Susan, his wife Barbara, countless friends whom he never stopped talking about, and his best companions Buddy and Mama Kitty.
Dad never met a gas station snack he didn't like, a wood working project he wouldn't enthusiatically take on, or a dog he wouldn't love. He adored the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Dodgers for his entire life, and could recall details of almost any player you could mention. His youth was completely devoted to his beloved Drum Corps group, "The Velvet Knights," where he was a master snare drummer.
Dad was a third generation Southern California roughneck and oil man who was delighted to follow in his family's footsteps. There was no type of machinery, home project, or task that he couldn't fix after a minimum of three trips to the Home Depot.
Dad absolutely loved the outdoors and road trips. He specifically loved spending his childhood summers in and around the Owens Valley near the Sierra Nevadas where he would hunt, fish, and practice conservation with his dear cousin Vern and family. He was an avid duck hunter and as good of a trap shooter as there ever was. Dad loved Fleetwood Mac, and listened to the same Rumours cassette tape for no fewer than 10 years on repeat. He also loved fishing, but was notoriously terrible at it. (We would actually purchase fish on the way home to save face.)
While he was incredibly talented at anything he tried, Dad's best talent was being a father. He would drop us off at school in the morning, and then race to get his work done as quickly as possible so he could be there to pick us up in the afternoon. He was the consumate Football, Baseball, Gymnastics, and Cheer Dad...who seemed to love watching us do our thing regardless of what it was. He took pride in teaching his son to tackle like Jack Lambert and hit a baseball like Dusty Baker, but just as much pride in building practice balance beams for gymnastics, and Cheerleader boxes for his daughter and her friends to stand on during football games. Dad was also a baseball and football coach to dozens and dozens of kids that weren't his own, just because he loved it.
Dad was the male version of Paula Deen before anyone knew who Paula Deen was. His father Ralph was present for the initial invasion of Tarawa during World War II and stayed on the island as a baker for the duration of the war. He passed on his culinary skills to Dad, much to the enjoyment of anyone who got to eat his cuisine.
Dad met his wife Barbara in later life and tremendously enjoyed his time with her taking road trips, cruises, and watching every Dodgers game of the season.
Dad also had a large group of online friends who became family to him. He would talk non stop about what this person was up to, and how that person's kids were doing. He truly loved the group of friends he'd made over the last few years and cared deeply about each of you.
Dad will be met at his new home by: his Mom Faye, his Dad Ralph, his beloved Grandparents, his nephew Darrell, his best friend Al Reich, his canine babies Chrissy, Bucky, Ruff, and Taz...and countless other friends from over the years. I'm sure they'll all love to hear his cheesy jokes again.
Steve's son and daugher have chosen to have him cremated. Our plans are to take small amounts of him to all of his favorite places so that we can always say a little bit of Dad is there. We trust that you love him as much as we do and would welcome any suggestions if you have them.
We will always love you Dad.