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Stephen Howard Smith(1961 - 2014)

Sgt. Maj. Stephen Howard Smith (Ret.) passed away on Feb. 25, following a valiant effort against ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) with his family by his side. He was born June 19, 1961, to Charlotte Ann Rike and Thomas F. Smith. He was a loving and committed husband to Dr Helen A Preston. His extraordinary integrity, valor and compassion exuded in his professional military career where he achieved major decorations such as the Legion of Merit and Bronze star. He graduated from Greensboro College with a business degree and was the founder and President of Greensboro Navis Pack and Ship. He assisted in the establishment of his wife's practice "Comprehensive Heart and Sleep," where patients still ask for him by name. Charismatic, unpredictable, a leader, optimist, are but a few of the adjectives to describe him. He loved and was devoted to his family and his many friends. His smile would light up any room and put all to ease. He enjoyed skiing, biking, boating, dancing, entertaining, and sports. The Cleveland Browns have lost a very devoted fan.
Stephen was the father to Jennifer Mary Smith and Mark B Preston. He is survived by eight brothers including Thomas M, Anthony F, David C, Patrick J, John G, Jeffery P, Benjamin E, and Edward V Smith; as well as three sisters, Margaret A. Bowman, Mary Kathleen Young and Elizabeth Susanne Morris. He will be woefully missed by his family and his multitude of friends.
There will be a viewing on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home, 2201 Partin Drive N, Niceville, Fla. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, at 10 a.m., at the funeral home. Family and friends will celebrate his life following the service at 12 p.m., Noon, at the residence 110 Lanman Rd, Niceville Fla.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Wounded Warrior Foundation. You may express condolences to the family and sign the guestbook at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements.


Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Feb. 28, 2014
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