Kenneth Smith

Kenneth Smith

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Kenneth (Ken) McKee Smith, 85, of Anderson, S.C., passed away at home on Christmas morning after spending Christmas Eve with close friends and family.

Born in Anderson on March 8, 1935, he was the son of the late Albert Jackson Smith and the late Essie Mae McKee Smith.

Ken is survived by his wife, Deborah (Debbie) Stevens Smith of 22 years, his two children, Michael Smith (Becky) of Conway, S.C., and Kim (Johnny) Grumbles of Anderson, S.C., five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Also grieved by the loss of Ken is his entire beloved Whitefield Baptist Church community where he served in various capacities for 17 years including as an usher, AWANA & VBS leader, Children’s church teacher, and most cherished by Ken, his role in leading the Good News Club at Cedar Grove Elementary School. Ken especially loved serving his church alongside his wife, as one church member remarked at his passing, “It was always Ken and Debbie serving side-by-side.”

Ken retired from the United States Air Force (1953-1977) at the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. As a Master Sergeant, flight engineer, 41st Military Airlift Squadron, he was named Honor Graduate of the Military Airlift Command NCO Academy. This is the highest individual recognition accorded to a student at the Academy. Senior Master Sergeant Smith served 6 years in Rapid City, SD, 3 years in Anchorage, Alaska, and finished at the Charleston, SC, Air Force Base. Ken was a flight engineer, traveling the world extensively. He went to Russia with President Nixon in 1972 when no other president had been since WWII. He received an air medal for heroic service in evacuating passengers when the landing gear exploded on take off at Dover AFB, and he received a second air medal for flying 67 combat missions in Vietnam.

Upon retirement from the USAF, Ken put his B.S. in Accounting from Southern Wesleyan to work for the next 45 years working for the National Tax Service and founding his own business, Ken’s Tax Service in Anderson, S.C. where he had many loyal customers that became friends.

Ken’s happy place was on the beach where he spent many happy summer weeks with his wife, Debbie. He was an avid reader, enjoyed spending time outdoors, especially at Clemson Football games, and was a Chevrolet Camaro enthusiast.

A graveside funeral service will be held Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Whitefield Baptist Church in Anderson, S.C., with military honors by the U.S. Air Force. Revs. Mike McMinn and Bob Clardy will officiate.

Friends can view the body and sign the register from the hours of noon – 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at The Standard Cremation and Funeral Center at 1621 Pearman Dairy Rd. Anderson, S.C. 29625. A celebration of life will be held at a later date in the spring/summer season.

Social distancing is to be observed and face masks are required at all events. The graveside service will be live streamed on Facebook via Sara Crocker's personal Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Whitefield Baptist Church and designated for the Good News Club. 207 Mitchell Road Belton, S.C., 29627 / 864-841-2324.

A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 | 12:00pm - 5:00pm
    Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 12:00pm - 5:00pm
    The Standard Cremation & Funeral Center
    1621 Pearman Dairy Road
    Anderson, South Carolina 29625
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Graveside Funeral Service

    Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 11:00am
    Whitefield Baptist Church Cemetery
    207 Mitchell Rd.
    Williamston, SC 29697
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Social distancing is to be observed and face masks are required.
    Rev. Mike McMinn
    Rev. Bob Clardy


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Tommie, Kym and Gina and Jai Crowder sent flowers to the family of Kenneth Smith.
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Tommie, Kym and Gina

Posted at 08:31am
Your Greenwood friends are thinking about and praying for you daily. With deepest sympathy and Christian love.
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Tommie, Kym and Gina purchased flowers for the family of Kenneth Smith. Send Flowers


De Lis Browne

Posted at 07:06pm
Mike, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. From the write up, sounds like he was a remarkable man. Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My thoughts n prayers are with you n your family.

Judy Ellison

Posted at 06:57pm
Ken and I served together in Good News Club at Cedar Grove for several years. He loved those children and he and Debbie loved the children at Whitefield Baptist Church. They volunteered in every area where children were involved and I enjoyed watching those children go to Ken and Debbie on Sundays to greet them. Many of the children still gave Ken hugs on Sunday morning after they were college-age. Ken fought a good fight and now he is reaping his Heavenly rewards. He was a delight to know and he will be greatly missed by all of us at Whitefield Baptist Church. Debbie, he was a real good one! Praying for you. Love you, Judy Ellison

Cindy Rousey

Posted at 04:29pm
To one of my favorite guys I loved with all my heart! I’m gonna miss hearing your voice but most of all you’re at peace with your Heavenly Father. RIP! Love your favorite niece.....

Jai Crowder

Posted at 03:53pm
With deepest sympathy,
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Jai Crowder purchased flowers for the family of Kenneth Smith. Send Flowers


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