Landscapes 12

Blaine Russell Smith

October 9, 1959 ~ September 26, 2021 (age 61)


On a pleasant Sunday afternoon, 26 September 2021, Blaine Russell Smith “bid the mob good day.”

Blaine was born on 9 October 1959, the youngest of the Stan and Leola Smith dynasty, and was blessed to grow up in East Millcreek. He wasted no time in creating his endless list of lifelong friends as he attended Rosecrest Elementary, Evergreen Jr. High, and Olympus High School.

As a Titan, Blaine was a track star competing in many track meets at the region and state levels. His friends called him B Russ, BR, or Smitty, but on the track he earned the nickname “The Iron Lung” through his ability to run at full steam for the whole race. While many athletes would save a little punch for the very end of the race, Blaine ran with the burners on the whole time. He set several school records including a two-mile time of 9:36! That’s 4:48 per mile!

Blaine served as a faithful missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Spain Barcelona Mission from 1978-1980. Along with becoming an incredibly proficient Spanish speaker, he was able to share his love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with many, adding more dear friends to his collection along the way. Blaine adored his mission. Spain was ever dear to his heart and never far from his thoughts. Recently, he fulfilled a life dream and took his sweetheart, Lori, to visit the Spanish cities and people he loved so much.

In November 1982 the stars aligned. While attending the University of Utah, and weary from attending yet another Single Adults activity, Blaine returned home one night to find his home full of eligible young ladies. The fateful gathering was the result of an event hosted by his sister, who introduced him to Lori Hesterman, the particular young lady who caught his eye. Blaine finally got up the guts to ask her out New Years Day, and they were sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple 22 November 1983. They are still raising four sons.

Blaine began working as a builder about as soon as he could swing a hammer, learning the trade from his dad Stan Smith and from gifted craftsman Cliff Taylor. After graduating from the University of Utah, he became a general contractor but always preferred to be called a builder. He partnered with his brother Bruce for many years and later with his son Stuart. He was also able to work with friends Richard Matheson, Joe Vanleeuwen, John Holbrook, all four of his sons, and many others at different stages of his career. Together they built many homes along the Wasatch Front that will stand for generations as a testament to Blaine’s relentless commitment to quality.

Through his business, Blaine met and worked with many fine suppliers, clients, craftsmen, and subcontractors. He made sure he always knew the name of every worker on the job, even if they were only there for one day. All of these great people are numbered among Blaine’s beloved friends- all so very dear to him! All will attest that when Blaine worked on your house, he was your contractor but he was also your friend.

The picture of humility, Blaine never said much in the way of self praise. But he never had to. His workmanship said it all. Everything he worked on was top shelf, every tool used expertly, every technique honed and refined. He had great respect for the workmen of the past and for the integrity of their craft and tools. He did his work confidently and it has no match. It is perfect. Or better.

Aside from his mission and a short period when he was first married, Blaine lived his entire life in the same neighborhood. He was a beloved pillar in the community. He loved his neighbors, the ones he knew from childhood and each new move-in. He was known to stop people to say hi wherever he saw them (regardless of how inconvenient it might be). Nobody ever left a conversation with Blaine without feeling uplifted.

In September 2019, after a saga of doctor’s visits and scans, Blaine was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer. Out of an initial recommendation of 6 chemo therapy infusions, he did over 40. Blaine faced this diagnosis and the subsequent treatments the way he faced everything- with optimism, positivity, and a hilarious sense of humor. All of the doctors and nurses loved Blaine and after spending many hours with them, his healthcare team became some of his dear friends.

Blaine loves the outdoors. He loves raising animals (sheep, chickens, rabbits). He loves gardening. He loves long sleeved t-shirts. He loves funny stories shared in the living room or around the campfire. He LOVES to laugh. He loves anything old. He loves the Wind River mountains. He loves giving nicknames to people. He loves rock and roll (fast songs only). He loves his many friends and he loves making new friends. And most of all, he loves his family!! Preceded by his dear parents Stan and Leola, he leaves the rest of us here to press on; namely his darling wife Lori, sons Stuart (Juliet; River, Hart, Blaine (grandsons)), Tucker (Caitlyn; Ephraim, Jake (grandsons), Piper, Brooklyn (granddaughters)), Weston, Truman (Alison), and his loving siblings Sandy Stanger, Bruce Smith, Valerie Andersen, Laurel Hart, and Andi Wagstaff.

Blaine left us with his shirt and tie on, first class to the end.

Save a place for us, BR!! We love you like 90!!

B Russ 3:05

Funeral service will be held on Friday October 1, 2021 at 11:00am at the Rosecrest First Ward, 3101 South 2300 East, where friends may visit with the family at the church on Thursday evening September 30, 2021 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and also on Friday morning from 9:30am to 10:30am prior to the service. Interment Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park. Online memories and tributes to the family can be sent at

Funeral Service Audio Recording


 Service Program


Funeral Service
October 1, 2021

11:00 AM
Rosecrest 1st Ward
3101 South 2300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

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