Cover photo for Steven Andrew Kavanaugh's Obituary
Steven Andrew Kavanaugh Profile Photo

Steven Andrew Kavanaugh

May 8, 1950 — March 21, 2023

Little Rock

Steven Andrew Kavanaugh

   Steven Andrew Kavanaugh, 72, entered his heavenly home March 21, 2023, following a 3 year courageous battle with Glioblastoma (brain cancer).  Born in Little Rock on May 8, 1950, Steve graduated from Hall High School, Class of 1968.  Four years later, he graduated from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.  Steve was a proud member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.

     May 25, 1974, Steve married the former Michelle Buell of Fort Smith.  Shortly after, Steve joined Rebsamen Insurance.  During his 17-year tenure, he earned his Risk Management designation and was later promoted to a Vice President.  Steve was hired by Alltel as their Risk Manager in 1991 and later became the Vice President of Administrative Services.  He would retire after 25 years.  Steve loved working for Alltel and made many steadfast friends for life.  He was retired for 1 day before being persuaded to come to work for AWCC, another telecommunications company.  When that company was sold, he made the decision to retire early. 

     A member of the Arkansas Army National Guard, Steve achieved the rank of colonel.  He was a patriot and doing something he loved. His last assignment was his favorite, serving as Company Commander of the Marksmanship Training Unit at Camp Robinson.  Colonel Kavanaugh was a mentor to many a young guardsman. Steve was a member of Pleasant Valley Country Club for 47 years.  Golf was his game.  In retirement, he did conquer that elusive hole in one on his favorite course.

     Travel played a huge part in Steve’s life.  Whether it was landing by helicopter on a glacier in Alaska or snorkeling Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, he enjoyed it.  Kissing the Blarney Stone or being dared to eat a green bug in New Zealand (and pronouncing it tasty), or being invited to play Augusta National, it was exciting.   Climbing Collegiate Peaks with the Boy Scouts in Colorado or flying with Michelle on the Concorde, it was thrilling.  At the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, it was Mission Accomplished when he managed to make a sour Russian matron smile!  Despite the variety, the Kavanaughs loved nothing more than their happy place in Hawaii.  

     He was active in his community and church. Steve will be remembered for his great laugh, big smile, and sense of humor.

    Steve was predeceased by his parents, Jack, and Helen Marie Kavanaugh, his in-laws, Thell and Greta Buell, a sister-in-law, Connie Maxian and her husband, Bruce of Sarasota, FL and a niece, Kristin McClellan of Murfreesboro, TN.  He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Michelle, and two children who made him fiercely proud, a son, Drew Kavanaugh, and wife Barbara, of Lancaster, PA and a daughter, Kelly Imhoff and husband Jason of Little Rock.  Four precious grandchildren, Ben and Hannah Kavanaugh and Olivia and Ellie Imhoff called him by his favorite name,“Pops.”  Steve is survived by two sisters-in-law and their spouses, Carole Beattie and husband George of Fort Smith and Kaye McClellan and husband Powell of Murfreesboro, TN.  There are also numerous nieces and nephews.  Although many were family by marriage, Steve loved them as “his.”

    A visitation will be held at Smith Little Rock Funeral Home on Friday, March 31 from 5:00-7:00pm. Steve’s life will be celebrated at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 2nd Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive. A private family burial with full military honors will be held at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery.

   The entire family has been supported and loved by so many during this prolonged battle.  We are nothing but grateful for all of you.  Thank you!

     Steve was indeed fortunate to have had excellent medical care beginning with Dr. Barry Ford and nurse, Rita, Dr. Ali Krisht and nurses Sharon and Annie, Dr. Larry Mendelsohn, Dr. Gao and nurse Lisa, and Dr. Ann Marie Maddox, consultant.  Thank you, Baptist Hospital Hospice staff for your remarkable care.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to 2nd Presbyterian Church where Steve served as a deacon or to the charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Steven Andrew Kavanaugh, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, March 31, 2023

5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home Little Rock

8801 Knoedl Ct., Little Rock, AR 72205

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 1, 2023

2:00 - 3:00pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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