Thursday, July 27, 2006


My friend, Troy Smith, died last night. There were about 50 friends and family in the room, and he left this world with its problems, and its cancer, behind peacefully at 9:45.

Troy was diagnosed with Breast Cancer about two years ago. It recurred mid-2005, and Troy fought the disease valiantly in the months since.

Please pray for Shanna and her kids ... Isaiah, Jonah, and Hannah Grace.

He was a High School Computer Science Teacher and he was able to complete his schedule for the last school year .. even when the going got tough. But, even more important, he was a born-again and sold-out believer who never gave up. Troy was focused on Jesus.

He steadfastly refused to pay any attention to the Doctor's grim prognosis, as he and Shanna have never stopped believing in a God Who can do, and does, miracles. Note to Shanna: don't give up looking for miracles. Those who believe God does miracles, will see miracles.

Troy wasn't in church last Sunday; he took his family to the beach for the weekend; cane, difficult speech, excruciating walk, and all . I did see him the Sunday before, though. He was standing, cane in hand, talking to his Sunday School Teacher, John, who also had a cane. I told them if John would shave his head, I'd go get my cane, and we could be triplets. Troy laughed as heartily as failing lungs would allow.

Too many people die with cancer. For Troy, it wasn't about dying. It was about living.

He did it well.

Auf wiedersehen, friend. I'll see you later.


At 12:03 PM, July 27, 2006, Anonymous Marty Adkinson said...

Thank you for sharing. I came here from Wade's site and I'm glad I did. This really puts things in perspective. Please pass on the Shanna and family that the are in our prayers.

At 12:48 PM, July 27, 2006, Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

Wow, that is tough. I will pray for their family.

At 8:07 PM, July 27, 2006, Blogger Taliesin said...

May our Great and Mighty God give peace and comfort to this family. May they find strength by resting in Jesus' love in this difficult time.

At 8:12 AM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous jiaje said...

Bob, although Troy is in a much better place, in a mansion that Jesus prepared especially for him--and we celebrate his victory--I'm sure he left a hole behind, in the lives of his students, his community, his church, and especially in his family. I pray that Shanna, Hannah, Isaiah, Jonah, will know the abundance of God's love and that they will learn to hold on to their Heavenly Father.

At 8:46 PM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous Bob Schmucker said...

Bob, I write a Sunday School newsletter at Rainbow Forest Baptst Church, where Troy & Shanna attended church prior to moving to Alabama. With your permission, I'd like to reprint your posting in the newsletter as a tribute to this fine young man who left so many good friends behind. He was truly a man among men.
Bob Schmucker
Vinton, VA

At 10:23 PM, July 28, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...


Absolutely. It would be an honor to have contributed to that, although I claim only to be the stenographer for what I write.

God bless you.

At 10:18 AM, July 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Troy was such a good friend and role model for all of us at First Baptist. As a Promise Keeper he kept you and the kids as his focus secondary to Jesus. When the cancer came he never once turned his eyes off Jesus or his family.

All of the Promise Keepers talked about I sure hope I could be like Troy if/when I go through something like that. He touched so many lives and we are all better today because of Troy than we were just a few years ago.

We will all miss his smiles but we will never forget the witness he gave all of us to follow.

We have and will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer.

Bruce Fuller

At 12:46 PM, July 29, 2006, Anonymous Fran Hansen said...


Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your children during this time of sadness and loss. May the God who loves you and has tenderly taken the love of your life home, keep you safe in HIS loving arms til HE comes again...

We were blessed to be a small part of making Troy's wish come true. Our hope is that those memories will last a lifetime and be a comfort in the days to come.

With Warm Regards,
Fran Hansen
Anna Nelson-Orr
Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation

At 4:03 PM, July 29, 2006, Anonymous Ken Mahon said...

Shanna, last night I was not able to express many things. I was afraid I would burst into tears. I want you to know what a blessing and example Troy IS for Penny and I. Your entire family is a blessing to us! We will miss Troy but are reassured by his Heavenly home. Whenever or whatever the need, please do not hesitate to call us. God bless you and your family. We love you and continue to pray.

At 11:56 AM, July 30, 2006, Blogger Nancy White Kelly said...

To absent for the body is to be present with Christ. I am almost jealous.
Nancy White Kelly

At 8:27 AM, July 31, 2006, Anonymous Chris Bast said...

Bob, Thanks so much for posting this. I did a google search for Troy and came across your site. He was my cross country coach for four years at Cave Spring High in Roanoke and my teammates and I have spent the past few days reminiscing about those amazing years. He was a fantastic coach- winning coaching accolades for himself while guiding his teams to championships. Most importantly, he helped mold us into who we are today and created this cross country family of which we are all members. We miss him terribly and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Chris Bast
Cave Spring Cross Country

At 8:42 AM, July 31, 2006, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Chris: Thank you very much for this comment. Know that Shanna checks this blog and she'll appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Note to Shanna: please feel free to answer comments here, any time you want to.

At 11:13 AM, July 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've heard you say many times that Troy was the strong one of the two of you. You have demonstrated such strength this past year as Troy's health weakened, and especially these last few days. It seems to me such a picture of HIS strength through our weakness. I know you are relying on God to carry you through this time and letting HIM be your strength. It is as it should be. I am blessed to have known Troy, and I am so blessed to know you. I thank God for both of your examples of Faith.

At 8:12 PM, July 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for your kind words of our mutual friend. Troy and Shanna are friends of ours-we are in Roanoke- and we miss them so much. Our hearts are bursting with emotion yet we can't seem to make sentences that make sense. We found your site through our newsletter (RFBC-requested permission by Bob S.) anyway- we just wanted to let you know we appreciate the opportunity for everyone to share this way and remember Troy. Troy truly was a man of God and will be greatly missed- Shanna is an amazing example of strength and grace under pressure- a woman who seeks God with her whole heart, and in this painful time, He will be found and reveal Himself to her in ways we will never understand. We love these friends dearly, and look forward to spending eternity with them. God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good. Rex and Robin Allen- Roanoke, VA

At 6:52 AM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When someone passes on, we often hear the comment "Heaven is a sweeter place". Through memories and stories told, Troy continues to live on in the lives of the people he touched. Through the telling and retelling of Troy's life and his love of Jesus, perhaps 'earth is a sweeter place'. Only eternity will tell the true story of the effect of Troy's life on others.

Know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

In Christ,
Lloyd and Linda Story

At 11:49 PM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never knew Troy, but ..I am deeply moved, and reminded of how we need to be brave soldiers in spite of it all, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus..just as Troy did.
Dear Shana, Hannah, Isaiah, and Jonah: I would just like to say that through these days of pain of missing Troy, and wanting to cry and cry, know that our Lord Jesus is a God of comfort, who will hold you all close as a hen gathers up her chicks. We don't understand much here, but thru these times, just hang on to Jesus..keep the faith. Even when the road ahead seems hard, and tough, and if you feel like you just can't go on, it is in our weakness, that He is strong, and He will give u much strength. Praying for you all..
Love in Christ from India.

At 9:29 AM, August 03, 2006, Blogger Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

What a tremendously touching tribute you have paid to your friend.

Knowing that he is safely in the arms of His loving Lord, and in a place that we can hardly begin to fathom does bring comfort.

Great website, by the way.

Manifold blessings to you.

At 11:16 AM, August 03, 2006, Blogger Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

A good friend of mine wrote a song several years ago, that expresses my heart in this situation. She is directing the song to her grandfather who is now in heaven:

"How are things at home? Is it all your heart dreamed it would be?
Is it more than simple faith let you believe?

Is it bright and fair? Does the sound of children fill the air?

Where no one is ever hurting or alone, oh how much I wonder, I just wonder 'how are things at home'?"

Yes...he is in the presence of His loving, healing, almight Father. In that city Whose Builder and Maker is God.

What a thought! What a glorious reality.

At 6:22 PM, August 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Th 4:14-17


Post a Comment

<< Home