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Kent Lee Smith


1945 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Kent Lee Smith Obituary
Kent Lee Smith

Montreat - Kent Lee Smith, born May 17, 1945, in Schenectady, New York, to Sibyl Green Smith and Orville Lee Smith, died in his Montreat home Saturday, June 9, 2018, after of life of service to God, the Presbyterian Church, his family, and the communities in which he found himself.

Kent grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, attended Edison High School, Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and Princeton Seminary. One of the first Presbyterian ministers ordained simultaneously in the Presbyterian Church US and the United Presbyterian Church USA, he was proud to have been present at the General Assembly that united the two denominations.

In what they always claimed an "arranged marriage," he wed Margo Kenady, whom he had known forever, in 1969. They have two sons, Tyler Brian and Palmer Lee who is married to Susan Azzu. In February, the family welcomed Banner Kahlid Lee Smith, and Kent lovingly baptized his grandson in March.

A life-long youth and Christian educator, he served churches in Joplin, Missouri; Bradenton, Florida; Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and Ridgewood, New Jersey, and contributed greatly the development of faith for countless young people whom he always called, "my kids." His enthusiastic and engaging approach to youth ministry spread the joy of involvement in the church to generation after generation, and carried over into the Montreat Youth Conferences he both attended and helped to plan. After a brief retirement, Kent began serving West Asheville Presbyterian and the Community on Haywood as senior pastor.

The family converted their Montreat summer home to live full time in Montreat in 2010. In Montreat, Kent quietly and efficiently led the Cottagers as president, played clarinet in the "Tarnished Brass," and since 2012, has organized the collection of food for Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries through Second Loaf. He had just returned from the opening Second Loaf collection for the summer when he died.

Kent loved music; it fed his soul. He played electric bass, electric and acoustic guitar, clarinet and saxophone, and his eclectic taste in music both delighted and distressed his parishioners throughout his career. One of his great joys was playing in the Prophets of Praise at Black Mountain Presbyterian and with the Community on Haywood band at West Asheville.

He will be sorely missed by his family including his wife and children and grandson, his sister Andrea Smith, his nephews Nathan Clark (Stacy) and Taylor Clark (Sherry), grand niece and nephew, Meghan and Jacob Clark, and scores of friends who are like family

He was a true servant of the Lord who dedicated his life to the ministry and to humanity, an example of how to live for Christ in a modern age. He was the paragon of patience, good humor, and generosity. He will be loved and remembered forever by his family, his friends, and the countless lives he touched during his life's work.

Memorial services will be held at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 3:00pm.

In lieu of flowers, Kent would have preferred that a donation be made to one of the causes he worked for tirelessly in life, such as the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Bounty and Soul, the Black Mountain Presbyterian Youth fund, the West Asheville Endowment fund, or any program that helps fight food insecurity.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on June 13, 2018
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