KALISPELL, MONT. - Rev. Stephen F. Smith, 79, passed into the loving arms of Jesus, surrounded by his family on Thursday July 6, 2006, in Kalispell, Mont.
He was born June 9, 1927, in Derby, Conn. to Stephen F. and Frances Smith. The family moved to Vancouver in the early years of World War II and Mr. Smith joined the Coast Guard. He served in the South Pacific aboard a troop transport assigned to the Medical Corp. At the end of the war he was stationed at a West Coast Lighthouse.
Upon discharge from the service he returned to the Vancouver area. There he met his one and only true love, Barbara Driscoll in Portland when her sister whistled at him from an open window and then ducked leaving the future Mrs. Smith in plain view. They were married on Aug. 14, 1948.
They resided in Vancouver where he worked as a tool and dye maker for Alcoa Aluminum. In 1957 he heard God calling him to the ministry and the family relocated to Pasadena, Calif., where both Mr. and Mrs. Smith attended Bible College. He graduated magna cum laude and took his first church in Smelterville, Idaho. He also ministered a church in Dunning, Neb., and in 1964 moved the family to Olympia. In Olympia he owned and operated an Exxon Service Station and auto repair shop.
In 1972 God once again called him to return to full-time ministry and he accepted a position with the Foursquare Church in Sheridan, Wyo., where he was also the divisional superintendent for the Foursquare Churches in Wyoming. He semi-retired in 1991 and accepted a position with Faith Chapel in Billings, Mont., as the pastor to the senior group, a position he dearly loved.
In 1999 the couple retired to their home on the Long Beach Peninsula where he quickly settled in and made many friends and "golf buddies." His passions were family, serving his Lord Jesus Christ, people (he never met anyone he didn't like), hunting and fishing. He especially enjoyed fishing in Alaska with his son, son-in-law, grandson and great-grandson.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara; daughter, Cynthia (George) Smith of Olympia; son Richard Smith of Story, Wyo.; grandchildren, Melissa (Gary) Ashcraft and Victoria (Eric) Cross, Britin, Braden and Keedan Smith, Kylee Smith of Mesa Ariz., David (Mandi) Smith of Kalispell, Mont.; great-grandchildren, Ryan and Abigail Ashcraft, Katie and Courtney Cross, TaAnna, Gabe and Nate Smith and "adopted" grandson Ben Sanford of Billings, Mont.; his sister Eleanor (Fred) Hilgart of Vancouver; numerous nieces and nephews and his wonderful brothers and sisters-in-law. His parents, his sister Frances and his son Steven, preceded him in death.
Funeral services are Wednesday July 12, at Ocean Park Community Church, at 1 p.m. Arrangements by Penttila's Chapel by the Sea.