Todd Smith (Meadow Adams)

Todd Smith (Meadow Adams)

For Todd Smith, 18, ‘No one in his world was a stranger’

Friends and family recently gathered in Arlington to celebrate the slain high school senior’s life.

ARLINGTON — When Todd Smith walked into a room, he filled it with energy.

Hundreds of people gathered earlier this month at Smokey Point Community Church to remember that energy and the countless smiles it inspired for the 18 years Smith lived.

Todd Charles Smith died June 5. He’d been attending an overnight graduation party, took an early morning run and was shot when he tried to enter a house he confused with the place where he had been staying. The young man was to graduate from Arlington High School five days later. Instead, his sister, Ali Smith, walked in his graduation commencement ceremony in his honor on June 10.

Family, friends and classmates shared fond memories at his memorial service.

“I’m convinced we were made to be full of life and spirit. Some people never get to experience that. Other people get that from the beginning. That was Todd,” said David Lukov, who officiated the ceremony. “We remember the young man who had a huge heart, a wonderful spirit and a willingness to reach out to people. No one in his world was a stranger.”

One theme resounded through every story told: He showed up for people when nobody else did.

Todd Smith (Meadow Adams)

Todd Smith (Meadow Adams)

A friend of Smith said she was sitting alone in the bleachers at a school wrestling tournament when Smith came to sit next to her. She felt out of place, she said, so Smith’s willingness to leave his other friends and sit with her, even if it wasn’t “cool,” meant a lot.

Another friend said there was a time in his life when he spent a lot of time in the hospital. Smith, who was his most frequent visitor, spent hours keeping him company. One day, Smith stayed in his room from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. the next day, the friend said.

“From that day on, I felt different, because Todd was there with me. He showed me what life was really about.” the friend said. “It’s really hard right now to laugh and cry, but when he stayed that day with me, I laughed all day and I felt a hell of a lot better.”

Todd Smith (Meadow Adams)

Todd Smith (Meadow Adams)

Smith was passionate about fitness — he was a member of his school’s wrestling team and had recently begun practicing mixed martial arts. He also loved to cook and share desserts.

When Smith and his sister were younger, they picked on each other a lot, the older sister told the gathering. She said she used to tease her brother, telling him the five years she was alive before he was born were the best of her life.

But their bond was more than jokes. Ali Smith showed baby photos of her brother and talked to anyone who would listen about how much she adored her “little buddy.”

Todd Smith (Meadow Adams)

Todd Smith (Meadow Adams)

“I could sit here and I could tell stories all day long about how sweet, caring and wonderful my brother was, but I don’t need to,” the sister said at the service. “I loved being his sister, especially his older sister. Truth be told, the 18 years that I spent with my brother will always be my favorite part of my life.”

Ali Smith said the stories people have shared about her younger brother have helped her and her family cope.

“Seeing tangibly just how many people had love for Todd is encouraging, because it means he did make an impact, even if it was in a small community,” she said in an interview.

She said she and her brother were always very different: She was the shy, reserved one, and he was the class clown. Growing up, she said, she learned a lot from the way her brother approached life.

“A lesson I learned from Todd is there are friends in strange places. All you have to do is look around and see the good in people.”

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486;; Twitter: @reporterellen

Talk to us

More in Local News

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek house fire leaves 1 dead

The fire was contained to a garage in the 15300 block of 25th Drive SE. A person was found dead inside.

Firefighters respond to a house fire Wednesday morning in the 3400 block of Broadway. (Everett Fire Department)
3 hospitalized in critical condition after Everett house fire

Firefighters rescued two people, one of whom uses a wheelchair, from the burning home in the 3400 block of Broadway.

The Walmart Store on 11400 Highway 99 on March 21, 2023 in in Everett, Washington. The retail giant will close the store on April 21, 2023. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Walmart announces Everett store on Highway 99 will close on April 21

The Arkansas-based retail giant said the 20-year-old Walmart location was “underperforming financially.”

Michael Tolley (Northshore School District)
Michael Tolley named new Northshore School District leader

Tolley, interim superintendent since last summer, is expected to inherit the position permanently in July.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
New forecast show state revenues won’t be quite as robust as expected

Democratic budget writers say they will be cautious but able to fund their priorities. Senate put out a capital budget Monday.

Everett Memorial Stadium and Funko Field on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Drive to build new AquaSox ballpark gets $7.4M boost from state

The proposed Senate capital budget contains critical seed money for the city-led project likely to get matched by the House.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Providers at Community Health Center of Snohomish County vote to form a union

Providers expressed hope for improving patient care and making their voices heard with management.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A thumbs up for capital gains, kind words for the Senate budget

It’s Day 75. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Supreme Court rules state’s new capital gains tax is legal

The 7-2 ruling clears the way for collection of payments starting next month. The tax is expected to bring in $500 million a year.

Most Read