Hardage - Giddens Chapel Hills Funeral Home and Cemetery

850 St Johns Bluff Road North, Jacksonville, FL


Stephen Kent Smith

September 25, 1948September 20, 2019

This is the story of Stephen “Steve” Kent Smith. Steve was a wonderful and amazing man, is missed and will always be cherished. He finished his course on September 20, 2019 at the age of 70 years and 360 days in his home in Jacksonville, FL.

Steve’s story began on September 25, 1948 when he was born to loving and amazing parents Harry Smith and Juanita (Eddingfield) Smith in Decatur, IL. He was their 3rd child, and shared fond stories of a beautiful childhood with his older brothers Rory Smith and Bruce Smith and his baby sister, Vikki (Smith) Apel. He graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and went on to work for 28 years with United Parcel Service. His colleague and dear friend for life, Carlito Sagum invited him to a Bible Study.

Steve was baptized on April 14, 1979 and was a devoted member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo – Church Of Christ. He went on to be an active Church officer serving as Buklod President, Light Of Salvation President, Volunteer Worker, Deacon, Children’s Worship Service Teacher, Head Deacon and Local Leadership. He spent many precious hours serving in the Finance department and travelling to visit with the members under his care weekly.

His precious calling and election led him to meet his partner for life, Levita (Bueno) Smith. They married in Chicago, IL. They were blessed with three daughters and worked hard to raise their happy blessed family. Life brought them to many adventures in Orlando, FL; Norcross, GA; Pinellas Park, FL; Palm Springs, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Long Beach, CA; Signal Hill, CA; Northridge, CA; Santa Rosa, CA and eventually Jacksonville, FL. They celebrated 40 years of marriage this year – a union that succeeded with the help and guidance of the teachings of God.

Steve enjoyed loving his brothers and sisters in the faith, sharing his talents, skills and gifts generously with anyone who needed them. He loved a good joke and a good novel. He enjoyed keeping up with technology to enjoy the music and movies of his upbringing. His children treasure their memories of his endless singing on road trips, whether they were cross-country or to the convenient store to grab a jumbo cup of crushed ice. Each day ended with family prayer, the family gathered together with bowed heads and it was always a blessing to have him lead the prayer. He explained everything with a Biblical truth as he strongly grasped the teachings of God and used them in all his decision- making. Stephen may have been retired but he was a professional grandpa. His grandchildren enjoyed the thrill of bouncing on his knees and listening to his bedtime stories and silly songs. They each have a nickname, given especially from their grandpa that will now be theirs for life. Coupled with lots of hot chocolate, plain popcorn and sweets, Grandpa’s sweet story of faith, family, love and forgiveness will continue on in them.

Stephen’s story on earth is completed. His story has a part 2 however, and that will begin in heaven on the 2nd return of the Savior Lord Jesus Christ. Even in death he would still like to share his experience and knowledge and love with everyone. Please visit INCmedia.org to see more stories of faith and to learn more about how to live with God’s words guiding you every step of the way.

Loved ones that will miss Steve’s giant heart, loving arms, intense hazel eyes, spiritual prayers and sweet infectious smile dearly until they meet again are his loving wife Levita (Bueno) Smith; daughter and son-in-law Stephanie Smith Canete and Garry Canete; daughter and son-in-law Juanita Smith Rosquites and Justin Rosquites; daughter and son-in-law Rizalina Smith Escoto and Biejay Escoto; his grandchildren Isaiah Nehemiah Canete, Isla Nadine Canete, Jordy Vance Rosquites, Ezekiel Grayson Escoto and Ivory Nevaeh Canete; and His brother and sister-in-law Rory Smith and Janet (Lea) Smith; his brother and sister-in-law Bruce Smith and Charlene (Wright) Smith; sister and brother-in-law Vikki (Smith) Apel and Ron Apel.

Visitation: Sunday, October 6, 2019 6 PM – 8 PM

Memorial & Internment: Monday, October 7, 2019 11 AM

Hardage-Giddens Chapel Hills Funeral Home & Cemetery 850 St Johns Bluff Road North Jacksonville, FL


  • Visitation Sunday, October 6, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, October 7, 2019
  • Graveside Service Monday, October 7, 2019


Stephen Kent Smith

have a memory or condolence to add?

Chris Gallevo

October 11, 2019

Brother Steve and his family will always be a part of my childhood. The Smiths were a staple of the locale of Chicago throughout my youth seeing them every Sunday at Church. I remember all the birthday parties spent at their house just a few steps away from the old Troy chapel, then a few blocks away from the old Fullerton one. I remember playing Nintendo or watching the latest Disney animated movie that came out on VHS at their place. Bro. Steve and Sis. Levi were incredibly hospitable. I'll always remember Bro. Steve's kindness and warmth. No one can rock a white t-shirt with suspenders like he could.

I don't think I've ever seen him upset or angry. He was one of my CWS teachers growing up and taught with love and conviction, something that's helped shape me as I became a CWS teacher myself. I'll never forget the time he lead a CWS visitation and treated us to McDonald's afterwards. He took everyone's fries and dumped them on a tray in the middle of the table. I thought it was funny at the time but it just showed how Bro. Steve looked out for everyone and made sure we all had our share.

My condolences to the Smith family, to Sis. Levi and my friends, Annie, Nita and Lina. And while my heart is heavy it's good to know that your Dad was an inspiration to many, thank God for the time he got to spend with his children and grandchildren. He lived a full life on Earth and look forward to the day we get to see him again.

Thinking of you all,

Fe and Ed Sarmiento

October 7, 2019

Brother Steve Smith was our overseer when we were part of the Locale of Chicago. He was the most loyal to his duty as an overseer as he never failed to come to our house for our committee prayers. It did not matter what kind of a weather it was--blizzard, sleet, freezing cold. He came at nighttime and weekends. He always came, even after we moved farther from the chapel, about 40 miles away. He always came with a smile and talked with such respect and kindness.
In 1983, my son Edward was born prematurely at 26 weeks. He was less than 3 pounds and the doctors said his condition was very critical. Upon hearing of this, Brother Steve came and prayed with us. Through God's blessing, our son came out ok. As he was growing up, Brother Steve always called him "Little Eddie". Our Little Eddie is now a doctor, deacon, and father of four. Thank you Brother Steve for always praying with us.

Gloria Bernabe

October 7, 2019

I first met Steve in early 1979 when he came to visit Levie in Waukegan, then he regularly comes to visit or drive her back home from Chicago after their weekly service in INC. He was so devoted visiting Levie & began courting her & they both fell in love & they didn't wait too long, they got married summer of the same year & I was the Maid of Honor. At first I was sad losing my best friend but happy because she found the love of her life & I saw how their love grew with each other, then they had 3 beautiful amazing girls as fruit of their love with each other. Yes, I knew that Steve's intentions of marrying my best friend was sincere & real & he really proved it. They just celebrated their 40th blessed Wedding Anniversary last July. I was a frequent visitor in their house in Chicago & I felt at ease with Steve around. He considered me as if his real sister or family & I am grateful about that. He was very kind, loving & helpful. He went with me to buy my 1st car & when I moved to Chicago & had my own apartment, he was the one I always call anytime of the day or night, if I have problem with my car or in my apartment. He always find time to help. We are all very lucky knowing Steve & became a part of our lives & most specially to his wife Levie , 3 children & their husbands & grandchildren . Steve had also taught me on saving on groceries by going to Aldi instead of going to Jewel or Dominicks grocery stores. Steve, thank you, I still go to Aldi until now ,, I only go to Jewel or Dominicks for emergency or if there are items on sale that I need.
Steve, I am very sorry for not seeing you for the last time on earth because of my pink eye, hope you understand. I should have been there yesterday. It's sad knowing you are gone but your memories remain in my heart & thank you for all the love & care you had given us most specially to your family. You are loved by everybody & you will greatly be missed.
Me & my family extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.

Melissa Sarmiento Allen

October 7, 2019

Growing up, Brother Steve was my family's overseer.  For years, every Saturday morning, he would make the trek from the north side of Chicago to our house in the far southwest suburbs (roughly an 80 mile round-trip) in order to visit us for committee prayer.  Looking back, he always seemed genuinely happy to see us.  I, on the other hand, a spiritually immature teen, wasn't always happy to see him and didn't understand why he always visited.  It took me many years to appreciate how much he sacrificed to pray for and care for our family and to fulfill his holy duty.  It took me just as long to realize how much he truly cared for our spiritual well-being.  The impact that Brother Steve had on my life and my decision to become an officer and dedicate my life to serving God, as well as raise my children to love and serve God, is proof that that "nothing you do in the Lord's service is ever useless." (1 Corinthians 15:58).  I thank God for using Brother Steve to inspire me to be the best Christian that I can be, and I pray that all of his family members and loved ones will find comfort and strength in the amazing legacy that he left for us all. 

Mike and lynda Poe

October 6, 2019

Bro Steve will be missed he finished his race, will always remember his unfailing help to the locale of Lakeland

Robert Tapales

October 6, 2019

Our families have been friends for over 15 years and no matter the city or state distance has never been an obstacle in staying close. We will always remember Our beloved Brother Steve as the fun loving, “dad joke” telling (texting), pillar of faith for his family. He was a tremendous example of placing your complete trust in the Lord and lived every single day ensuring his family was firm in their foundation of faith. You’ve finished your race my friend and now we all are little lonelier with out you but know we will see you again in the Holy City.
We will miss but will be here for your family always.
-The Tapales family
(Robert, Lulu, RJ and Kat)

Robert Brooks

October 6, 2019

Brother Steve and I go way back to 1977 in Chicago, Illinois. So many truly precious and wonderful memories from over the years with Brother Steve and his family!

If there is one quality that Brother Steve can be remembered for, it is that no matter what life threw at him, he always kept a positive attitude. And life threw a lot at Brother Steve, but he never gave up. He never quit. He kept going forward, no matter what.

It has been said that the true measure of a parent can easily be seen in their children. Truly God blessed Brother Steve and Sister Levy with not just one, not just two, but three amazing and loving daughters. If there is a legacy to be proud of, it certainly is in his kids and grandkids.

Bro Bob Brooks.
Jacksonville, Florida

Thea Cayabyab

October 6, 2019

Bro. Steve exemplified unwavering devotion and love for his duty and his family. He was always an inspiration in his teaching in the CWS, whenever he prayed in the worship service, and even in the way that his smile would greet you every time you crossed paths with this ever cheerful human being.

There's no one quite like Bro. Steve.

Our lives are richer for knowing him and we'll miss him always.

Phillip Toledo

October 5, 2019

Ka Steve was always so kind and generous to us. He treated us, and everyone really, as family - with a heart so full of love for those around him. Whenever we'd see him, whether in moments of celebration or times of trouble, his smile and positivity never wavered. He was absolutely sure in his faith, which serves as his greatest legacy to all of us - that no matter what, put God first and He will take care of the rest. We laugh remembering all the silly moments he shared with us (like eating the duck tongue at BoBo Garden) and will never forget all the times he gave us advice and encouragement. The way he ran his race is an inspiration, and we know we'll see him again.

For our dear friends, his family, we love you so much.


Phillip, Katrina, and Isaac Toledo

Janet Smith

October 5, 2019

Unfortunately I never got to know Steve very well since we lived so far away. He was always cheerful and fun to talk to when we talked on the phone. He was also very thoughtful and sent us things that would be he helpful when Rory was recovering from knee surgery. I will miss hearing his happy voice and am so sorry for his loss.