Stephanie Sue Smith

Stephanie Smith photo

Stephanie Sue Smith born May 14, 1959, passed away peacefully on July 24, 2021, at Kansas City Hospice House at the age of 62 surrounded by friends and family.  

Stephanie was blessed with abundant life. A beloved sister, cousin, aunt, friend, and teammate, Stephanie spent her early life in Kearney, Nebraska. As an athlete, Stephanie started competitive swimming at age nine.  At Kearney High School she was a three-sport letter winner. Stephanie went on to attend Kansas University where she was a proud Jayhawk playing collegiate basketball (1977-1978) and field hockey (1978-1979).  In later years she also participated in the Win For KC team triathlon for seven years where the team “Be Who You Are” finally took first place.

In addition to her love of sports Stephanie enjoyed the out-of-doors camping, hiking, water rafting and working in her yard. She hosted many a friend in her restored historic home in the Kansas City Hyde Park neighborhood.  She was the vision and the worker behind the restoration as she taught herself how to do plumbing and electrical work.  With her “can do” spirit she was never afraid to tackle a challenge.

Upon graduating from KU in 1981 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Visual Communications, Stephanie joined Montague Sherry Advertising as an Art Director. Outside of the agency, Stephanie started a freelance business under the banner of S&Co.Design. In 1986, as President, she partnered with Cheryl Johnson to transform the business into a full-service design studio where Stephanie’s creative work garnered her several awards. Through the span of her career, she brought her design expertise to a range of Kansas City enterprises both large and small to fulfill their vision.

Continuing with her entrepreneurial spirit, in 2012, Stephanie created a line of promotional items with her “Be Who You Are” logo and tag line under the business of Beauty of Life, LLC.

Stephanie was active in the Kansas City’s Data-Driven Marketing Association, Ad Club, Business Network International, and Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Always one to give back, Stephanie became involved with Dining by Design/DIFFAKC (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) for many years and as a board member embraced the position wholeheartedly. She was also on the Hyde Park Board and volunteered for the Pilgrim Run. She participated in the yearly AIDS Run and the Susan G. Komen-breast cancer run.

Other interests involved snow skiing, white water rafting, scuba diving, camping, walking, and hiking. She also loved dressing up every Halloween as the Hyde Park Witch and scaring all the trick or treaters.

Stephanie was preceded in death by her parents, John and Vernice Smith. She is survived by her brother, John David Smith, nephew, Eric Foust, cousins, Mary Ellen Lewis (Gary Klinker), Sarah Jones (Curt), and Mark Gross (Jane).

Stephanie will be missed by her friends, family and community. May her creative thinking, her competitive spirit and passion for sports, her humor and kindness live on in us as she rests in everlasting peace.


A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date with a notification to follow.

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to Unity on the Plaza, American Cancer Society Research and may be sent in care of Cremation Center of Kansas City, 4926 Johnson Drive, Mission, KS, 66205.

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1 Comment

  1. Shanna Brende on August 8, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    So sad to hear of Stephanie’s passing. She was always kind and welcoming. Wish I could’ve known her better. Every time I I wear my Be Who You Are baseball cap, I always thought of her. Now I’ll have a smile on my face as well. . Rest In Peace my friend.

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