Steffen Wesley (Doc) Smith, Sr., 77, of Indian Trail, North Carolina, passed away Saturday evening, January 28, 2017. He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Sue; their children, Steffen W. Smith, Jr., and his wife, Jackie; and Kimberly Smith Graham and her husband, Russ; and his brother Joel William Smith and his wife, Debbie. He is the proud "Popee" of seven grandchildren: Steffen W. (Trey) Smith, III, Cameron Jon (C J) Smith, and Ashton, Greysen, Logan, Lachlan and Kyelyn Graham. Doc was born May 25, 1939, in Dayton, Ohio, the son of the late Charles David Smith and Marie Hinkey Smith. He is preceded in death by his sister, Sue Loffer.
With the sacrifice and support of his parents and wife Susie, he became the first of his family to graduate college, receiving a Phd. in Organic Chemistry from The Ohio State University in 1967. He embarked on a successful career in clinical chemistry, moving his young family to San Antonio, Texas, where daughter Kimberly was born. A pair of well-worn boots and a Stetson were his weekend uniform during his "cowboy days" in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Treasured memories include family fishing and crabbing trips to South Padre Island and adventures with family friends, the Recker's. The Smith family relocated to South Florida in 1977, where Doc's happiest times were spent off the coast of Fort Lauderdale chasing Mahi and King Mackerel with dear friends Capt. Walt Harrison and Walt Black. The fish of the seas are sleeping much better knowing that "Popee the Snapper Slayer" is no longer stalking them! Doc was called to a second career as a teacher and inspired countless students with his passion for science. Most recently, he taught Advanced Placement classes in Chemistry and Physics at Union Academy in Monroe, NC. He was a much-loved faculty member at schools as far away as Colegio Americano de Torréon in Torréon, Mexico and American Heritage Academy in Plantation, Florida. He is remembered for his time at Independence High School and Meyers Park High School in Charlotte, where he was honored as a North Carolina State Inspirational Teacher. Popee's lap was a welcome home to a procession of beloved cats: Princess, Snookums and Punkie. He had a deep and lifelong love of reading and classical music, and enjoyed attending performances of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra as well as plays, concerts and live events. He was a true man of science and pursued knowledge for its own sake.
Doc was a "foodie" through and through, and excelled at Chinese, French and Italian cuisine. Friends and family warmly recall his lovingly prepared gourmet meals and welcoming table. He was also an avid stamp collector and worked for a time dealing in collectible Federal Duck Stamps. With a salty sense of humor inspired by comedian George Carlin, Doc was always quick with a quip or to share a nugget of wisdom. He enjoyed playing backgammon and loved nothing better than fun times with family - whether it was exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway with his Susie or trips to the mountains and beach with his grandchildren. To the joy of his family, Doc retired his trademark comb-over later in life, but was always sharply dressed for work thanks to his wife's keen fashion sense. Doc was a proud and active member of Mill Grove United Methodist in Indian Trail. He experienced a profound and personal encounter with the risen Lord, and was forever changed as a result. Knowing this, his family has a deep sense of peace at his passing. Popee will live on to those who knew him as a loving, wise and honorable man who treasured his family and friends. During this time of loss, his family is comforted by Jesus' assurance in John 14:2: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." We love you, Popee. A scholarship for deserving students is being established in Doc's name, and loved ones are invited to make donations in lieu of flowers to Mill Grove United Methodist Church, 7311 Mill Grove Rd., Indian Trail, NC 28079. Please designate contributions to the "Doc Smith Scholarship Fund." -
Friday, February 3rd, 2017 5:30pm - 7:00pm, Mill Grove United Methodist Church
Friday, February 3rd, 2017 7:00pm, Mill Grove United Methodist Church