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Bruce Smith07/07/2018
After a long battle with cancer, Dr. Bruce Lee Smith, aged 67, went to be with his Lord and Savior at 2:45 p.m. on July 7, 2018, surrounded by his loving family in their home in Bonita, CA.

He is survived by his wife Catherine ‘Caye’ Smith, children Lacey, Shanley, and Lincoln Smith, grandson Levi Baucum, and siblings Larry and Wesley Smith, Janet Neal, and Lynnette Knight.

Bruce was born on August 28, 1950 in Miller, South Dakota to Rev. H. Lavern and Eunice (Melligan) Smith.

Bruce grew up in south central Iowa, where he developed an abiding love for cultivation, hunting and fishing.

He made his way out West to California in his early 20s. With the support of employer Southern Pacific Railroad, he earned bachelors and master’s degrees in the field of Psychology from California State University at Fullerton. During these years he was a loving single parent to son, Scott Smith, and they shared many adventures and a deep lifelong bond.

He married the love of his life, Caye Barton, on May 17, 1986. Bruce, Caye and Scott shared family life in Riverside CA; Lacey, Shanley and Lincoln were soon added to the family unit.

Bruce adored his children and spent hours wrestling on the floor, building tree-houses, raising pets and helping the children enjoy their childhood. Bruce and Caye went on to earn their doctorates in Clinical Psychology at Azusa Pacific University, matriculating together in June 2001.

Bruce and Caye and their kids made several moves as a family from Riverside, California to Klamath Falls, Oregon to Mahtomedi, Minnesota, before eventually settling in Bonita, California in August, 2001.

Being a country boy from Iowa, Bruce always made sure they had animals and a little bit of land wherever they moved. He was an avid outdoorsman, passionate about hunting, fishing, gardening, and windsurfing. He had a vibrant sense of humor and loved to entertain folks in his home with his myriad jokes. But it was his infectious laughter, more than the jokes themselves that really made people light up in his presence.

Bruce had a deep and powerful relationship with Jesus Christ and felt called in mid-life to full-time Christian ministry. In February 2002, Bruce accepted the role of co-Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church, in La Mesa, California. He served in this capacity until his retirement in July 2016.

During his 15 years at Skyline, Bruce spear-headed the Men’s Ministry, which included a special ministry called Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) that involved the men of Skyline going out into the community and performing random acts of service for people in need.

He also led the Singles Sunday School class, organized wild game feed nights, and provided key counseling services. During this season, he was ordained as a minister in the Wesleyan church and officiated countless marriage ceremonies and funeral services.

Bruce touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people, as evidenced by the multitudes of cards, phone calls, and social media messages recalling his impact sent to him throughout his illness. He was an incredibly loving father, devoted husband, and faithful friend. He had a kind, selfless heart and gave everything he had to his family and his church ministry.

Special thanks to all of the medical professionals who worked tirelessly throughout his battle with cancer to provide him with the best healthcare.

Bruce is survived by Caye, Lacey, Shanley and Lincoln. Son Scott preceded him in death.

A celebration of Bruce’s life will be held at 3 p.m. on July 14th at Skyline Wesleyan Church, 11330 Campo Road, La Mesa.

Bruce and Caye support the following San Diego based pregnancy care centers: College Area Pregnancy Services and East County Pregnancy Care Clinic.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bruce’s memory to a local pregnancy care center. Bruce’s long-standing support of crisis pregnancy centers was an expression of his deep commitment to serving the vulnerable and the “least of these.”

Joshua 1:5-9 New International Version (NIV)

5. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

6. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

7. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left.