Ryan Kenneth Smith, "Kenny" or "Smitty", 45, sadly passed away on July 10, 2022.
Ryan graduated from Lakeview High School in 1995. He was a people person with a magnetic personality and a contagious laugh. He was a skilled and adaptable entrepreneur, leaving his customers always happy. Ryan could sell a bald man a comb. He had a love for golf, shoes, traveling, festivals, and most of all, his two daughters, Iris and Vivian. However you knew him was to love him. He exuded this light that touched everyone he called a friend. And he made every friend family.
He came into this life on June 2, 1977 and made Jeff Smith and Robin McVeigh scared and happy first time parents. He was soon joined by his adorable sister Amanda. And they were a happy family for a time. Ryan tried his hand at a lot of things. Baseball and sports didn't quite strike his fancy so his love for music developed first with the violin and then with just a passion for all kinds of sounds. He traveled with friends listening to all kinds of music and found his soul with the Grateful Dead. This calling for fellowship and love through music helped him develop relationships with all kinds of people from all walks of life. Ryan had a knack for making everyone feel important and special. He judged no one for their walk in life and felt community in the fellowship of anyone who just enjoyed being with him. Ryan spent most of his childhood and early adulthood in Michigan. That will always be his home. He decided to spread his wings and follow some of his lifelong friends, Potsy and McLeod to Wilmington NC. Here he made a name for himself in the culinary community. Ryan could make THE BEST sauces. His talents in the front and back of the house provided him with camaraderie and purpose. He thrived. He met Whitney in early 2002 and made her his wife in 2006. They were soulmates and together they moved to Charleston, South Carolina, while he switched careers to manage Verizon stores from Myrtle Beach to Columbia, South Carolina. He was the big man in charge of multiple stores and he loved it. They welcomed their daughter, Iris Catherine Smith into the world in 2008 and she changed their lives. Together they lived their best lives in a fabulous city while traveling together chasing their favorite bands and enjoying all the friends and love that life threw their way. They eventually ended back in Wilmington NC where Ryan continued to thrive in the restaurant industry. They welcomed their second daughter, Vivian Carter Rose into their lives in 2013. Ryan was a loving father who devoted his heart to his girls.
Surviving are his parents, Robin (Joe) McVeigh, and Jeffrey Smith, both of Battle Creek, Michigan; his sister, Amanda Smith, stepsisters Emily McVeigh (Ryan Dawson) of Washington, DC and Erin (Guy) Hunneyman of Wilmington, North Carolina, daughters, Iris and Vivian Smith of Wilmington, North Carolina; many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Ryan was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Virginia Dohm and Don Harden; and paternal grandparents, JD and Darlene Smith.
A celebration of life will be held on August 13, 2022, 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm at Squirrel Hollow Golf Course, 12111 Helmer Rd. South, Battle Creek, MI 49015.
Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care.