Bruce Gebhardt Smith
May 3, 1952 – December 22, 2020
Bruce Gebhardt Smith of Bushkill, PA passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 68. He was the loving husband of Jaye Marie Kurdyla with whom he shared 40 years.
Born in Middletown, NY in 1952, he was the son of the late Marjorie Downing and Gebhardt Smith, also of Middletown, NY. He Graduated Middletown Senior High School and studied forestry and conservation at Morrisville State College. He worked for the department of corrections at Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center.
Bruce, an avid outdoorsman and conservationist spent much of his life in the forests, streams and lakes of the tri-state area. His love for nature and history was shared by his wife and passed down to his children. Bruce spent his youth and young adulthood playing league softball, enjoying golf and dedicating his time to his family. He was an excellent bartender, always knew where he was and seemed to know someone wherever he went. He never missed a wake and never drove 1 mile over the speed limit. If he wasn’t 20 minutes early, he was late. Bruce had great taste in music. He never missed a soccer game, cross country meet, concert or life event of his children.
Despite being a man of few words, Bruce was known for his quick wit and dry sense of humor. His strong work ethic and tenacity was exemplified not only in his professional life but in his dedication to his family and close friends. When Bruce committed to something, he saw it through. He was a dedicated and loving husband, supporting Jaye as she supported him. They spent the past several years exploring the history and beauty of their new home state of Pennsylvania. The marriage and friendship they shared was and will always be an inspiration to their children and those who know them.
Bruce donated much of his time to those in need and felt a strong sense of duty to help when he was able. As former president of the Shawangunk Fish and Game Association, he organized many events that benefited youth, veteran and disabled communities. He always showed up (early) to lend a hand to a friend in need. He loved animals and could spot wildlife from what seemed like miles away.
Many who knew Bruce knew of his struggles with chronic illness. Through what seemed like countless medical procedures, surgeries, hospitalizations and emergencies, Bruce never complained. He took adversity in stride and had an uncanny ability to heal and beat the odds, always with a positive outlook. His best years were made possible by the selfless gift of a kidney bestowed by Linda Coleman, whom he held dearly in his heart. That second chance at life allowed him to witness his children graduate, find love, explore and grow. Bruce was incredibly proud of the adults his children became and was blessed, once again, with eleven more years of life after receiving Derek’s kidney. In that time, he walked his daughter down the aisle, witnessed the birth of his grandchildren, got to barbecue at his son’s new house and spent most of his hours enjoying life with Jaye.
Bruce is survived by his wife Jaye, his son Derek and Janet, his daughter Lindsey, his son-in-law Adrian, his grandchildren Emilia and Jack, his sister Carol and his niece and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to: gofundme.com/f/bruce-smith-memorial-fund