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A Friend to Everyone

He Will Forever Be Missed



Stu Smith


A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, July 21st, 2023, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium, 246 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30313.  Food and drink and music will be had.  Stories will be told.

  • Attire for the event is casual. Please dress in whatever you feel comfortable in.

  • Light hors d’oeuvres will be passed from 7:30p - 8:30p.

  • Don't miss our signature drink in honor of Stu and stay with us for a special toast to Stu later in the evening.

  • A cash bar will be open for the entire event.



01/21/1962 – 05/12/2023

Francis Stuart Smith, 61, of Atlanta, Georgia—an incredibly-loved friend, brother, and son—left his friends and family way before they were ready to lose him, passing from this life unexpectedly on May 12, 2023.

Francis (who, from childhood, strongly disliked his first name) was known simply as “Stu” by those who loved him—or “Stuart” if the situation demanded.  Stu was born on January 21, 1962, in Port Huron, Michigan.  The second and youngest child of Francis Calder Smith and Janet Ida (Emerich) Smith and the younger brother of Karen Sue (Smith) Hall, Stu lived out his childhood on Strawberry Lane.  Of course, he did.  He went to Catholic school, … really?  (The nuns MUST have loved him.)

Stu was one of the—if not the—most gregarious, goofy, funny, friendly, whimsical, helpful, handy, nice, loving, and genuine human beings ever known to those who encountered him.  Always the social butterfly, Stu knew no stranger.  He was a great storyteller, but he was an even better story-maker.  A common refrain among his vast array of diverse friends was: “This could only happen to Stu.”

Growing up, Stu loved the water and boating.  Upon graduating from high school, Stu visited a U.S. Navy recruitment center simply to get information, only to find out by mail weeks later that he had enlisted.  “This could only happen to Stu.”  So, Stu reported for duty in 1980 and embarked on a 4-year tour that took him to places all around the Pacific and Asia, sparking a love of travel that lasted his entire life.

Honorably discharged from the Navy in 1984, Stu returned to Michigan and attended St. Clair County Community College, earning an associate degree in marketing in 1986.  But drawn by his love of water and the lure of warm weather (and hot men), Stu quickly made his way to the west coast of Florida.  Stu made a true home in Tampa where he formed a large chosen-family of very dear, lifelong friends.  Having graduated (as he would say) from the “Stu Smith School of Design,” Stu also began crafting a career working as a painting contractor, handyman, and one of the original house fixer-uppers.  When asked what he did for work, Stu would often reply: “I make things pretty.”

Following opportunities (and men), Stu moved to Atlanta in 2003 with his desire to make things pretty for a larger audience.  Again, Stu made a true home and expanded his chosen-family with even more friends while he owned and operated a second-hand, consignment furniture store and continued his work as a handyman and painter.  Honing skills that started in his youth and began flourishing in Tampa, in Atlanta Stu also embarked on a second career—as a professional dancer.  He often took his act on the road by traveling the world to dance and, of course, he took his show back to the water by performing on cruise ships.

Stu would always greet you with a smile, a hug, and kiss—all three were infamous, each in their own right.

Stu was an avid lover of treats, sweets, and candy—most especially rainbow Skittles.  And he was a devoted lover of all things great and small—especially cute, furry animals.  His two beloved cats, Speedo and Mr. (Anderson) Cooper, preceded Stu in death, but only after they each had long, treat-filled lives.   Stu made sure of that.

Stu is survived by his mother, Janet, his sister, Karen Sue, nephew Brian Hall, niece Ashlee (Hall) Hahn, and five great-nieces and nephews.  Stu is also survived by his innumerable, innumerable friends and chosen family—all who now consider this world a bit dimmer and colder place without the bright light of Stu’s smile and warm embrace in it.  All his friends hope to one day again encounter Stu on the dance floor, be it land, or sea, or somewhere else.

Stu’s cremated remains (along with those of Mr. Cooper) will be mixed and cast into an Eternal Reef and placed in the warm waters off the coast of Florida where they will honor a life well-lived by healing the sea in supporting the restoration of coral reefs and the development of fish habitats.  If possible, Stu wanted to take the form of a star fish—a pretty star fish.  Of course, he did.

Remembering Stu

This site was created in memory of our dear friend, Stu Smith. Our loving dancefloor chaperone.

His Life


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