Volunteer firefighter and first responder Brian Stephen Smith, 56, of St. George Island, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in the line of duty helping a distressed family of swimmers in the Gulf of Mexico.
Brian was born 1963 to Ruby and Rodger “Steve” Smith in Stamford, Connecticut. The family relocated to Everett, Washington, where Brian graduated in 1981 from Everett High School. Brian had a passion for billiards and fixing anything that was broken, but it was the call to serve and protect that was central to his life.
After high school he served on the Montebello, California police department before moving to Arcadia, California where he met his wife Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Smith. They were married and shared two children, Byren and Rachael Smith.
The family relocated to Tallahassee and eventually St George Island, where Brian turned his loves of ‘tinkering’ and helping others into a career in property management.
Brian had a passion for animals, especially his beloved dogs Bad Bad ‘Leroy’ Brown and ‘Skye’ who were often seen at his side, in the fire truck, on the beach, or at local events. He was a coveted trivia teammate, a key volunteer for island fundraisers, and a good friend willing to listen to anyone who needed it.
If something needed to be fixed, Brian was there. If you were feeling blue, it was Brian’s laughter that lifted you. If you were in trouble, it would be Brian jumping in to save you. Brian loved being a fireman and first responder and was always a calm head in times of need.
Since joining the department in 2015, he answered almost every call and was actively involved with many local fundraising events including Chili Cookoff, Brewfest, and Pink Out. He never stopped looking for ways to help people in need. Brian cared greatly for others and showed his love to family, friends and his community through actions and service.
He will be dearly missed. Brian leaves behind his beloved wife of 33 years Beth, son Byren and daughter Rachael, mother Ruby, brother Russell and many other family members.
He is preceded in death by his father Steve, and siblings Jaan Smith and Richard Bridges.
The Brian Smith Memorial fund has been established through Centennial Bank to support the family. Donations can be made at any Centennial Bank location.
A memorial honoring his life and service will be held at the St George Lighthouse Park on Sunday Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. All are invited to attend.
Skip & Trey Young with Family Funeral Home at Harvey Young Chapel are assisting the family with their arrangements.
This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Brian Stephen Smith