Friends, family celebrate the life of Addison Smith
20-year-old local was killed in a car crash on June 30
EDWARDS — Addressing a crowd that filled the gymnasium Saturday at Battle Mountain High School, author Lance Witt said that words seem hollow when remarking on the death of a 20-year-old who impacted the lives of hundreds.
But as Witt and others learned in preparing for the celebration of life for Addison Smith, the beloved local left behind plenty of her own words from which to draw inspiration for the event.
Smith was a Battle Mountain High School Class of 2019 graduate who completed two years of college at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She was killed in a car accident June 30 while returning from Lake Powell with her family and friends.
At her celebration of life on Saturday, Smith’s friends — Savannah Webster and Abbey Glace — said they found a note in Smith’s car this week, with the word “purpose” written on it.
“Next to this word, she wrote, ‘Live faithfully as a light for Jesus,'” Glace said of Smith. “And that’s exactly what she did.”
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Loved Lake Powell
Webster, described as Smith’s adventure partner, said she had accompanied Smith on one of her many Lake Powell trips during summer 2020.
“After all the fun we had at the lake, I got home to Texas and couldn’t stop talking it about it for weeks, I would show everyone we knew all the fun pictures and videos we took, but it was so frustrating because no little picture on an iPhone or story I told was every going to do this 200-mile, beautiful canyon with a giant body of water inside any sort of justice,” Glace said.
During the spring 2021 semester, Webster said she awoke to a group text chat with more than 25 recipients.
“I was so confused until I read the first message. Addison had got together a big group of friends from all over the place and invited all of us on a huge camping trip,” Webster said. “On the camping trip, there was over a dozen new faces, and I sat in admiration as I watched Addison single-handedly make every single person on that trip feel like they were the most important one there. She made her rounds, checking out everyone and making sure that each friend was taken care of and introduced to the others. That was Addison — she brought people together, made everyone feel welcome, loved every single one as best she can, shared laughter and dance parties, and best of all, she talked about Jesus.”
Made time for family
While at Baylor, Smith was able to spend time with her uncle, Brandon Woodard, who lives in Texas.
Woodard said the fact that Smith made time for him amid her university studies and friends demonstrates a truth many knew about her.
“Living life to its fullest so often with others by her side, Addison was all about relationships,” Woodard said. “I would be remiss, however, not to acknowledge the one relationship that Addison valued above all others in life, a relationship with her father in Heaven.”
Woodard was also able to use Smith’s words in describing her Christian faith.
“Her father in Heaven, as she so eloquently wrote, made Saturn, the Colorado mountains, a billion stars and the birds in the skies,” Woodard said.
‘Struggled as we all do’
The stage at Battle Mountain was adorned in planters containing sunflowers and aspen trees, and guests received both water and Kleenex to absorb and replenish after the many tears which would be shed.
Musicians Nick Carleton, Tom Boda, Micah Branscomb, Emma Cerovich, Kyle Groen, Beth Kuntz and Nick Larkins played songs.
Witt, who is the author of “Replenish: Leading From A Healthy Soul,” has known the Smiths for 25 years. Witt offered words of hope on Saturday, and he too used Smith’s words for inspiration.
“One of the little handwritten notes in her Bible said ‘Son of God, through the word of God, will ignite a love for God,'” Witt said.
Addison’s mother, Lenée Smith, said she had also spent time reading Addision’s Bible in recent days.
“It didn’t surprise me as I read every highlighted verse and reflection in the margin, that she struggled as we all do,” Lenée said. “But what touched my soul it what she did with her struggles. She dove deeper into trusting the instructions of the Lord.”