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Stephen Guthrie Smith

Stephen Guthrie Smith

Stephen Guthrie Smith, 70, of Little Rock passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2017 after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born October 10, 1946 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas and graduated high school from Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tennessee. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Martha Ellen and Leavelle Smith, and his brother, Leavelle, Jr.

Steve was an avid, lifelong outdoorsman and when he became the President of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation in 1989 his passion also became his job.


Steve did his best to spread the traditions of hunting, angling and outdoor recreation statewide. His true talent was educating young people about wildlife conservation for the great Arkansas outdoors he so dearly loved.

Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Director, Jeff Crow, said there were no words to adequately describe what Smith meant to the agency. “A kind and gentle soul, his love for the AGFC and its employees was displayed in everything he did on our behalf,” Crow said.

Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation President Deke Whitbeck said the foundation was saddened by Smith’s death. “He was the leader of this foundation,” Whitbeck said. “More importantly, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He had a true passion for reaching out to young people and introducing them to Arkansas’s great outdoors.”

Fred Brown, AGFC chairman, said Smith was a dedicated outdoorsman. “He did his best to spread the traditions of hunting, angling and outdoor recreation for as long as I knew him,” Brown said. “His friendly smile and calm demeanor always let you know you had a friend willing to work with you to get people outdoors,” he added.

In 2003, he was inducted into the Arkansas Game & Fish Outdoor Hall of Fame and in 2015 he was named Arkansas’ Ducks Unlimited Sportsman of The Year. He was a Ducks Unlimited national trustee emeritus and served two seven year terms as an Arkansas State Police Commissioner, where he was known as a “troopers commissioner.”

Steve and the Foundation were driving forces of the 1996 successful campaign to pass a conservation sales tax to provide permanent and solid funding for the AGFC, Arkansas Parks, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission & the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Smith guided many foundation projects, such as the purchase of the Robinwood addition to Wattensaw Wildlife Management Area, which used proceeds from several years of Outdoor Hall of Fame banquets. He played a leading part in the acquisition and development of Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake, and the development of a firing range in Jacksonville. He also was a key link in the purchase of a 421-acre tract for Fred Berry Conservation Education Center on Crooked Creek.

While his friends are many, and he will be missed, the love for his family will always be remembered. Steve cherished his time with family and friends, fishing and enjoying the wildlife at the Little Red River.

Steve is survived by his wife of 39 years, Etta Irving Smith, his two sons Stephen G. Smith II (Christa White) and William Bryant Smith (Sayward) and two grandchildren Alexis Irving Smith and William Beckett Smith. He is also survived by his brother Mike Smith (Nancy) and former wife and friend, Susanne Hall. There will be a celebration of Steve Smith’s life at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Second Presbyterian Church. There will be a reception at the church following the service. In lieu of flowers the family requests the memorials be given to the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, #2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72207 or The Michael J. Fox Foundation, PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014. Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com

Condolence Book

"We are saddened to hear of Steve’s passing. He was a wonderful person and friend to both Judy and I. We will always remember him and will keep his family in our prayers."
Terry McGuire | Mayflower, AR |

"Dear Smith Family,
There' s not enoughs words to express our deepest Sympathy for all of you..We hope you can can find comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering and has found peace with his father in heaven.

john and liz white"

john and liz white | little rock, ar | jhnwhtjw@gmail.com

"Steve Smith was a true hero for conservation. I really appreciate the numerous professional and personal contributions that he gave me. It was an honor to has Steve as an asset in my life and I will never forget him and the legacy that he left. "
Clifton Jackson | Sherwood, AR | cliftonjsr1@sbcglobal.net

"Etta
I was saddened to hear of Steve's death. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. No words can lessen the pain but find comfort in the fine work Steve did and the legacy he leaves.

Bob Ross"

Bob Ross | Memphis, TN | rrross@bellsouth.net

"My heart is hurting for the Smith family. I didn't know Mr Smith, but I know he raised a great son, and did some excellent work with the AGFC. The world has been changed forever for the better due to Mr Smiths great deeds he did with life and by the wonderful family that survives him. "
Vince Guillet | Little Rock, AR | Guilletvm@sbcglobal.net

"Etta and family...
You know how much I loved Steve. I will never forget all he did for me personally and professionally. His presence in the hallways of Game and Fish brought a smile to my face, even on those tough days Steve could always find the right words to say to cheer you up. He will live in my heart forever...."

Darla Bryant | Little Rock, AR |

"We will miss Steve more than you know. He was a great person and friend and always was kind to everyone. We will miss his smiling face every time we attend an event whether it Ducks Unlimited or Arkansas Game and Fish. It will never be the same to not see him. Again, he was the best of friends to us and we will miss him dearly. Steve you are in a better place and feeling great now. We will miss you always!"
Steve and Alison Cook | Hot Springs, AR | acook@sacwireline.com

"My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time."
Janice Stanford | Little Rock, AR | janice7451@gmail.com

"Steve Smith was a good person and was well liked by everyone he came in contact with. He will be missed and remembered by everyone.
Our Prayers are for Steve and his Family.

Mary & Bill Tucker"

Mary Tucker | Little Rock, AR | tuckernet@gmail.com

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Smith family during this time of great loss. Steve was a great guy. He was always kind, very helpful and always had a positive attitude. I will always appreciate our numerous years of close friendship and the many thoughtful things he did for me and my family. I could always count on Steve to be there for me. He will be dearly missed."
Craig K. Uyeda | Conway, AR | ckuyeda@gmail.com

"Sweet Etta,
It is late Friday night and I just found out about Steve's homegoing. His battle with Parkinson's disease didn't seem to keep his enthusiasm and his love for his family, and first and foremost, for his bride of 39 years from shining through. Even though his recent illness told your mind the inevitable was close, absolutely nothing can prepare the heart for sorrow.
You can do this. It will be the most difficult thing you've ever had to endure, but women are like tea bags. They don't know their own strength until they are put in boiling water.
Remember, those who put their hip in the Lord, will mount up with wings As eagles. They will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint. He will sustain you. Just cry
out to Him. He will never leave your side, ever!!!"

Malu Norris | Maumelle, AR | malunorris@hotmail.com

"Etta, Steve and Bryant,
What a great guy! We shared some wonderful times together.
My prayers are with you. May God rest his soul.
God Bless,
Forrest"

Forrest Reynolds | Brownsville, TX | freynolds01@mindspring.com

"Steve thanks for all the memories. You were one of the first people I met when we moved out on Hwy 300 and we hit it off immediately. We spent time together doing all kinds of activities
and then you went on board with the AGFC where my brother "Wildman" worked and again we had the opportunity to spend time together. I always appreciated your kindness and concern for others. I pray for Etta and the family during this time. May they feel Gods arms of love and grace at this time. "

Charlie Wilson | Mount Pleasant, AR | cwwilson777@centurytel.net

"Steve Smith was one of the kindest and gentle people I have ever known. He had the ability to lift you up if you were having a bad day, and personally helped me through some tough times. All Game and Fish employees (including me) loved him dearly and will miss him forever. Love and prayers to Etta and all of Steve's family. "
Beverly Sutton | Little Rock, AR | basutton09@att.net

"Etta and Family : I was saddened to learn of Steve's passing. Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. Steve was a great friend and mentor as we work together during his time on the State Police Commission. Steve will be missed by many."
Steve & Shelley Dozier | Rogers, AR | sfdoz@yahoo.com

"Etta and family
So sorry to read of your loss, my thoughts and prayers will be with you all. How blessed I feel to have known and worked with Steve at AGFC. He was such a special person who gave to all who knew him."

Alice Browning | Little Rock, , AR | ninibrowning@sbcglobal.net

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