Brian Stephen Smith died in the line of duty on August 25, 2020, while responding to a distressed family of swimmers off the coast of St. George Island in the Gulf of Mexico.
Brian was born in Stamford, Connecticut, to Ruby and Rodger “Steve” Smith. The family moved to Everett, Washington, where Brian graduated from Everett High School in 1981. He served with the Montabello Police Academy in California. In 1986, he moved to Arcadia, California, where he met his wife, Elizabeth Smith. Beth and Brian moved to Everett and had two children, Byren and Rachael. Brian had a passion for billiards, fixing anything that was broken, and playing with his dogs, Skye and Bad Bad “Leroy” Brown.
Brian was a volunteer firefighter and first responder for the St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department for over five years, since moving to the island for work. He turned his passion for fixing and tinkering into a fulfilling career as a property foreman.
Brian’s love language was acts of service. Since he was the neighborhood handyman, wherever he went, no favor ever went unanswered. Climbing on a roof to hang Christmas lights for someone who was afraid of heights, mounting a new TV for a friend, or driving to pick up a stranded neighbor was a normal weekend for Brian. He sacrificed and worked hard for his family and friends his whole life, all while making people laugh and smile. Beth always said she married him because, no matter what, he could make her laugh. Brian was always available for a call from his kids. He was just as happy to talk his daughter through a car crisis as he was to talk to his son about the game. Those phone calls and visits from his children meant the world to him. Brian taught his wife and kids how to play pool so they could play as a team, and no matter how busy everyone was, he could count on the family being together once a week.
Brian had a large heart and showed his love to his family and community through actions, so it was no surprise when he announced to his wife that he was joining the volunteer fire department. For over five years, Brian worked 6-7 days a week, responded to nearly every emergency call, and spent as much time as possible with his cherished mother, who lived an hour away. He boasted that he was the happiest he could be. He leaves his beloved wife of 33 years, Beth; his son, Byren, and daughter, Rachael; his mother, Ruby; and his brother, Russell. He was predeceased by his father and his siblings, Jaan Smith and Richard Bridges.