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Steve died of leukemia on February 16, 1974. He was living in Tallahassee, FL at the time and is buried at Roselawn Cemetery in that city.

Steve loved to sail his 16' Hobie Cat in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Every year Steve's friends hold the Stephen C Smith Memorial Regatta at Shell Point, on the coast south of Tallahassee.

The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Hobie Cat Hot Line, Volume 3, Number 3 (1974) shortly after his death.

"Most of us rarely get the opportunity to know the extent of human effort contributed by a person who is committed to getting something done well, and living life to the fullest. Such commitment, when it is accompanied by creativity, is an extraordinary experience - one that provides profound inspiration. Knowing Stephen C. Smith was such an experience.

Stephen C. Smith died Saturday evening, February 16, 1974, of pneumonia, at the age of twenty-nine. We had known for two years that he had a rare form of leukemia and was undergoing treatment. We certainly were aware of the possibility of eventually losing him. But Steve’s commitment made that possibility seem less real, for he was at work every day until two days before his death. As in earlier months, when he went for weeks with a fever over 100, he continued as if nothing were wrong. Somehow he remained the same creative and witty Steve we had always known.

Steve was the most recent Art Director of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study of the Florida State University and had been on the staff for more than eight years. His creative and eff ective art work was a major contributing factor in the success of this project.

Participation in sailing activities, and a lot of hard work for the Yacht Club and Hobie Fleet 43 won Steve the coveted Apalachee Bay Yacht Club Sportsmanship Trophy last year. His good spirits lifted ours, and the warmth of his personality encouraged us all. We loved the work he did and the man himself.

The ABYC and Hobie Fleet 43 mourn the loss of this unique person. The Yacht Club’s annual regatta has been renamed the Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta... We are grateful for the experience of working and playing closely with Steve, of knowing him as a friend, and of being inspired by his commitment, his creativity, and the simple fact that he was Steve Smith."