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Smith, Steven, J. December 16, 1958 - May 22, 2024

Date of Funeral

June 29, 2024

Steven J. Smith, 65, passed away peacefully on May 22, 2024, at his home in Budd Lake, NJ.

He is survived by his wife of thirty-five years, Gretchen Sundstrom-Smith, son Andrew and his wife Kyra Sundstrom-Smith of Philadelphia, PA, daughter Cassandra Sundstrom-Smith and future son-in-law Daniel Colabella, and daughters Karlee and Arianna Sundstrom-Smith, sister Linda M. and Richard L. Cappaert II of Chesterfield, MO, and his nieces Elyssa Henderson and her husband Jordan, and Rebecca Cappaert, and his brother-in-law Karl Sundstrom of Woodbury, CT, and nieces Nicole and Kristi Sundstrom. He was also a proud and loving grandfather to Andrew Charles Sundstrom-Smith.

Steve was the first child of Donald and Wilma Smith born on December 16th, 1958, in Hammond, Indiana. He loved being a big brother to Linda and enjoyed teasing and playfully targeting her, but he was still the best “big bro” ever. His family moved to East Moline, Illinois, where Steve was active in the student council, football, wrestling, and theater. Steve was also a Boy Scout and earned the Boy Scout God and Country Award and an active youth in the Christ United Methodist Church. He graduated from United Township High School, in East Moline, IL and attended Bradley University in Peoria, IL where he graduated with a triple major in social science, history, and education. He joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity of which he later became President. After Steve graduated from college, his family moved to Sparta, NJ.

Steve met the love of his life Gretchen in Connecticut at Lloyd Home and Building Centers Corporate office. Their story began when Steve locked himself out of his car and he asked Gretchen for help, their love story blossomed from there. Steve was transferred to New Jersey where he and Gretchen, a lifelong New Yorker who said she would never live in NJ, settled in Budd Lake, NJ since 1990. Steve and Gretchen became licensed Foster Parents in the State of NJ where they lovingly homed, cared, and nurtured over a dozen children.

Steve was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Hackettstown, NJ for thirty years. He was proud of the mission work he did with the church youth group. His favorite mission trip was the D.C. Encounter where he would bring seventh and eighth graders down to Washington D.C. to feed the homeless. He was also a Confirmation and Youth Group leader. He loved watching the young church members grow and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Steve received many accolades and accomplishments during his career as well. He worked at Sportcraft and Falcon Safety where many of his coworkers became family. Most recently, Steve was Vice President of Strategic Development of Technical Chemical Company. His coworkers and employees remember him as being caring, funny, and always wanting the best for their team.

Yet, Steve’s greatest accomplishment and joy was becoming a father and spending time with his family. He was at every Boy Scout event for his son and was also the Best Man in his son’s wedding. He was at every dance recital, competition, track meet, and cheer games for his daughters and was always their biggest fan. He loved family vacations and traveling to new destinations. Steve always supported his family in every way that he could. His most recent and greatest gift was becoming a grandfather to Andrew Charles.

Services: A Celebration of Life will be held on June 29th,  2024 at 11am at Trinity United Methodist Church, 213 Main Street Hackettstown, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be given to Trinity UMC Youth Missions, 213 Main Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Cochran Funeral Home, 905 High Street, Hackettstown. NJ 07840. For those wishing to leave online condolences, please visit,

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