Stephen Bryan Smith

stephen smith

June 23, 1941 ~ September 13, 2021

Born in: Asheville, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Stephen “Papaw” Bryan Smith, age 80, went to be with our Lord and Savior on September 13, 2021.

A native of Asheville, NC, Steve was married to the love of his life, Linda for 55 years. He was preceded in death by his mother, Clarine Lovingood, father Virgil E. Smith, Sr. and brother Virgil E. Smith, Jr. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sisters Phyllis Rich and Audrey Bruce. He is also survived by his children Renee Burwell (Beth), Bryan Smith (Leslie), Lisa Kirbo (Randy) and “bonus son” Barry Burwell (Angie). He is also survived by grandsons Patrick Burwell, Josh Kirbo (Katie), granddaughters Jamie Johnson (Joseph), Grace and Abigail Smith, Mia Kirbo, great-grandsons Noah Beall and Ben Kirbo, and great-granddaughters Railee and Dansbee Johnson and Natalie Kirbo.

Steve had a deep love for his family and wanted nothing more than to watch his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren play any kind of sport imaginable! He was an avid bowler with several perfect games, dabbled in mid-distance running in his younger years, and was an amazing softball player before macular degeneration took his sight. He was the best coach a softball or baseball player could ever dream of having and influenced many lives with his humor, expertise, patience and love.

Steve was an avid Dodgers Fan, and the family requests guests dress in their favorite ball team attire or team colors.

Services are scheduled to take place in the chapel of Groce Funeral Home, 1401 Patton Avenue, Asheville, NC at 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 18, 2021. With the Revs. Charlie Sams and Chris Reese officiating. Visitation will occur following the service.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


Memorial Service: September 18, 2021 4:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


Visitation: September 18, 2021 5:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


Army Veteran

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Memories Timeline


  1. Love & prayers to our wonderful “extended family”. We are so sorry. We loved Steve & we will miss him.

  2. Prayers and love to Linda and Family! Steve was always such a delight to greet you with that big smile on Sunday morning! Very welcoming to start a great day of worship!

  3. Loretta Hooper
    Prayers and love to Linda and family! Steve was such a delight to welcome you on Sunday morning. His big smile was a great start too worship.

  4. We are so very sorry for your loss. Steve was a wonderful man and we feel very honored to have gotten to know Steve and Linda over the past several years. Our love and prayers are with you all.
    Tracy and Jimmy Smith

  5. Linda and family: Please know you are not alone in your sorrow, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Steve was always a joy to be around and his sense of humor was the best. Although you are suffering a loss, there is a celebration going on in Heaven now with family and friends. May God watch over each of you and shed his comfort upon you.

  6. Dear Linda, Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Take Care. Sincerely, Dennis and Neil Jordan

  7. So many wonderful memories of time spent on the softball field with Steve! Always ready with a smile and a handshake…he was a gentleman in every sense of the word. I take comfort in the fact that I will see him again one day…until then, my thoughts and prayers are with his family 🙏🏻❤️

  8. When I think of Steve, I think of his wonderful smile that he had, and always had a hug for you. Heaven gained a wonder angel on Monday. My prayers to Linda and his family that he was so proud of.
    Love to all!
    Sonia Pressley

  9. Every Sunday, at Starnes Cove Baptist, Steve would be there to greet us with his smiling face. He was such a flirt to! If I was ever in a bad mood, you can bet after speaking with Steve that mood was transformed into happiness. He is flirting with angels and creating smiles all over heaven today!

  10. Steve was an inspiration and encouragement to me when I got fitted with an LVAD. We met at church, and had several phone calls. He was truly a blessing to us. We rejoice for Steve, and pray for God’s comfort for all his family.

  11. What a wonderful man! I have such great memories of “Coach” and your whole family. I know you all will cherish the memories and recent moments shared on your trip! Love and hugs to you all!!!

  12. We feel so blessed to have known Steve – he was such a joy to be around. Your family will be in our prayers for the comfort and blessings of shared memories.

  13. Steve always had a smile on his face. What a great life he lived! ♥️ Sending prayers for peace during this time.I love all of you!

  14. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your dad was a good friend to me and I really enjoyed bowling with him for many years. He took his bowling seriously but always had fun. Lots of great memories. He will be missed greatly. I know he is with our heavenly father and I have every assurance he has met my parents. God bless you all and keep you safe and healthy.

  15. Linda and family. So sorry to learn of Steve’s passing.
    As you know we are dealing with our own issues this week, but you are all in our thoughts and prayers. He will be greatly missed in so many ways.
    Dyrenda and Bill

  16. Dear Ms. Linda, Sixer and the rest of the family,
    Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Mr. Steve was a special man and I enjoyed every conversation we had concerning playing ball. He definitely will be missed.

  17. Dear Linda, Lisa and Family,
    I am lifting you all up in prayer. Steve was always such a kind soul and so sweet to me. He never failed to make me laugh, every single time I saw him. Heaven has truly gained an angel. Prayers for peace and comfort during this time and in the future.

  18. Dear Linda and family: Very sorry to learn about Steve! As everyone has said he was a very special and kind soul. Yes he always had a smile. He will be missed in our community. His mother and my mother were such good friends from Bent Creek. You and I grew up together on Old Sardis Road so we have always had those special connections in the Venable Community. Sending prayers and lots of love to you and your children. Those sweet memories will be great comfort to all and will bring many smiles. Just me, Phyllis McKinney Jamison

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