Stephen Smith, 66
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PORTLAND -- Ask any family member what comes to mind when they think of Stephen Smith, and the answer is the same: 'He'd give you the shirt off of his back.'
Stephen died on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at Maine Medical Center. He had just turned 66.
Stephen Smith's journey in life took him from Milton, Mass., to Hiram, Ohio where he went to college and met the love of his life, Claire Patterson, and eventually to Portland where he and Claire happily raised their four children.
Stephen was born in Quincy, Mass., the son of Howard A. and Ruth H. Smith. He graduated from Milton High School in Milton, Mass., class of 1965, and received a BA in Economics from Hiram College.
He and Claire married in 1969 and moved back to the Boston area. Stephen worked as an auditor for Travelers Insurance, transferring to Portland in 1974. He also held accounting positions with Seventy-Five State Street, Berry Dunn McNeil & Parker and Maine Bonding & Casualty Co. In 1997, he began working at West School in Portland, in a job that gave him true satisfaction. He worked with kids in the classroom and beyond, leading expeditionary learning trips. Stephen also worked at L.L. Bean in the Camping Department, a natural fit for a Maine Guide.
A devoted family man, gardener and outdoorsman, Stephen instilled a love for nature in his children. Together they went camping, hiking, sailing and canoeing. He was involved in Scouts and his kids' soccer and softball teams. He valued diversity and encouraged his children to see the world and learn about different cultures. And see the world they did; all four studied abroad. And the world came to them in the form of exchange students from Japan, Ukraine, Russia, Belgium, and Mexico. 'We were the Smith Family Hostel,' son Greg said. Steve loved showing them the wonders of Maine.
When he was 60, Stephen climbed Mt. Kathadin with
daughter Erica. 'He was a patient teacher, whether he was teaching us canoeing or driving a stick shift. He gave us a beautiful childhood,' she said. 'I feel very lucky.' He was the epitome of the Good Samaritan, doing things for others-- even strangers-- without being asked. 'It is fitting that at the end of his life he gave one of the most important gifts, organ donation,' Erica said. As for the proverbial shirt off of his back? 'He actually did give his shirt to someone once. We all laughed,' she said.
Stephen Smith is survived by his loving wife, Claire; two daughters, Schelene Shevchenko and husband Zhenya of Gray, and Erica Smith and her husband Marc Hiller of Boston, two sons, Bradford and Gregory Smith, both of Portland; and three brothers, Clifton Smith and wife Janice of Lamoine, Kenneth Smith and wife Sally of Lamoine, and Roger Smith and wife Patricia of Foxboro, Mass. He adored his three grandchildren, Nicholas, Lena and Miriam.
A celebration of Stephen's life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 1-4 p.m., at the McKernan Center at Southern Maine Community College. From 3-4 p.m. family and friends are invited to share memories and anecdotes. Arrangements are by Conroy- Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland. Online condolences may be expressed at www.ctcrawford.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory
of Stephen Smith to:
MPBN Membership Dept.
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, Maine 04401
or to Seeds of Peace
Attn.: Miel Medley
370 Lexington Ave., Suite 1201 New York, New York 10017
or donate online www.seedsofpeace.org/donate/
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Feb. 6, 2013