Craig T. Smith
Craig T. Smith, 59, died peacefully in his home on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
Craig T. was an adored coach, son, father, papa, husband, a successful business owner, but above all else, a dearly beloved member of the community. Craig was born on October 2, 1959 in Kansas City, where he graduated from Rockhurst High School (Class of 1978). He then went on to attend the University of Central-Missouri on a football scholarship. He graduated from Ottawa University with a Bachelor’s in Business Management.
Craig was preceded in death by his mother, Rosemary and his brother, Gary.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Katherine Smith; his father, Edward Sr.; his brother, Edward Jr.; his four children: Whitney, Conner, Mollie and Kyle T.; and his two grandchildren, Lee and Wolfe Thomas.
Craig T. grew up in St. Elizabeth’s Parish where he met his eventual wife, Mary Katherine ‘Kathy’ Bisaha. Craig and Kathy dated through their teen years, as he was attending Rockhurst High School and she was attending St. Theresa’s Academy. After attending UCM, Craig proposed and was married to Kathy in 1982; they had their first daughter, Whitney Ann, in 1983. Shortly before Whitney was born, Craig began his promising career in rugby with the Kansas City Blues Rugby Football Club, more fondly known as the ‘KC Blues’. The KC Blues provided a great social foundation for Craig, in addition to his everyday routine as a father and businessman. Craig excelled at rugby, as his talent took him all over the world; travelling throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Craig’s travels were the beginning of many lifetime friendships and relationships that kept him connected to his teammates and the rugby community. Throughout his years of building a successful business and rugby legacy, Craig and Kathy had three more children: Conner Edward, Mollie Elizabeth, and Kyle Thomas. After the birth of his fourth child, Kyle T., Craig began his transition from a legendary rugby player to an even more legendary rugby coach, and eventual KC Blues Hall of Famer. Craig ‘Big Smitty’, began his coaching career with his oldest son, Conner, on the Junior Blues Rugby team. He shared with Conner ‘Smitty’ how rugby can connect you to the world when he took the team on a tour of Ireland. After Conner graduated from Rockhurst High School (2003) and from Junior Blues to KC Blues, Craig began coaching his daughter, Mollie, on the St. Thomas More basketball team. Craig molded Mollie ‘Lil Smitty’ into such a great player that she continued her basketball career through her senior year of high school. At this point, he began coaching his youngest son, Kyle, ‘Itty Bitty Smitty’. Craig coached Kyle in multiple sports including: football, basketball, and rugby.
Craig was not only a great coach, player, and teammate, but an even better father. Craig helped his family learn both the city life and country life by taking them to their farm in Mendon, Missouri, which sparked his daughter, Whitney’s love for astronomy and the environment; a love which has followed her through her life and into her career. In Mendon, Craig would take his kids four-wheelin’; hunting various game; fishing, swimming and sitting on the dock at Joe’s Pond; sparking bonfires through the night; and telling mesmerizing ghost stories. Craig’s ability to bring everyone close to him was most evident when anyone who saw his truck in front of the farmhouse would stop by just to spend time with him. Craig passed this genuine charisma on to his children by teaching them to embrace every opportunity presented to them. Craig’s legacy and the leadership he exemplified will continue to shine through every day in his four thriving children.
Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 11:30 a.m., St. Thomas More, 11800 Holmes Rd, Kansas City, MO 64131
Celebration of Craig’s Life
Friday, March 29, 2019 at 6:00 p.m., Patrick’s Bar and No Grill, 8251 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to The Kansas City Blues Rugby team: www.kcblues.org