Steven Eugene Smith, 66, of Elwood, passed away Wednesday, February 17, 2021, in Anderson. He was born August 24, 1954, the son of Horace N. and Vera C. (Dilling) Smith.
Steve married Kathy K. Kimes on August 24, 1974. They are the proud and loving parents of three children and nine grandchildren. Steve cherished his family and any mention of his grandchildren always brought a big smile to his face. He loved to travel with his wife and family, take them to Purdue ballgames and spoil the grandchildren with ice cream and tractor rides.
Steve is a 1972 graduate of Hagerstown High School. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture, with Distinction, from Purdue University, in December 1975. In 2009, Purdue University presented Steve with the Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award. He has also served on the Purdue University Dean of Agriculture Advisory Board.
Steve was the Senior Director of Agriculture at Red Gold, Inc, the world’s largest privately held tomato canner. He dedicated nearly 32 years of service to the company. In this position, he directed all agricultural activities from tomato variety development through harvesting. In addition to his production responsibilities, he was involved in the company’s agricultural public policy endeavors. He participated in the Farm Bill development, co-chaired Red Gold’s Sustainability Initiative, was the longest serving member of the Indiana Agricultural Advisory Board, and served as a board member for Fieldwatch, Inc. Steve was the founder and chairman of the Save Our Crops Coalition. He was also active in other industry endeavors, such as the American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition, Mid America Food Processors Association, the Sysco Corporation National Sustainability Advisory Board, and a former member of the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. Steve was named the H.D Brown Person of the Year in 2015, by the Mid America Food Processors Association. He was also selected as the 2020 Indiana Certified Crop Adviser of the Year.
Steve enjoyed small farming activities and working on his Allis Chalmers hobby tractors. He piloted a private plane for over 40 years, served as an active member of Liberty Friends Church, and was an avid Purdue fan. He and his family hosted three International Exchange Students and enjoyed the opportunity to travel to other parts of the world to renew those ties. Every year since high school, Steve made mission trips to Native American reservations, where he worked to improve living conditions and social conditions of the Native American.
Steve is survived by his wife of 46 years, Kathy; children Amy (Brandon) Dennis, Renee (Harlon) Dunham and Kyle (Kristin) Smith; grandchildren, Hannah, Ethan and Caleb Dennis, Naomi Haynes, Lucy and Sydney Dunham, and Grace, Ephraim and Quentin Smith; brothers, Max (Anne) Smith, Larry (Donna) Smith and Darrell Smith.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Landon Dunham; and an angel baby grandchild.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Fairmount Chapel of Armes-Hunt Funeral Home. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 23, from 2:00pm until 7:00pm. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, February 24 at 10:00am, with Pastor Clay Davis officiating. Both services will be held at Liberty Friends Church, 1008 W. 800 S, Fairmount. Burial will take place Wednesday, February 23 at 2:00pm, at the Nettle Creek Cemetery, Losantville, Indiana.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Kickapoo Friends Center, 332118 E 1070 Rd, McLoud, OK 74851
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.armeshuntfuneralhome.