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; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Everett
Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

Susanna Johnson speaks during an interview on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Sheriff: New police pursuit policy under review amid state rollback

New state standards once again allow police to pursue a suspect without probable cause for a crime — and give departments discretion to adjust policy.

Snohomish County Health Department Director Dennis Worsham on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Long after AIDS crisis peak, LGBTQ+ health care still limited in Everett

A reopened free STI clinic signals some progress. But securing inclusive health services in Snohomish County is an uphill battle, local experts say.

Crave Spokane Valley 2023 (Courtesy of CraveNW Media Relations)
Sold out Spokane food festival coming to Lynnwood

The event Friday night at the Lynnwood Event Center will feature “foods from around the world.” The goal is to make it annual.

Bruce Guthrie outside the Frances Anderson Center, a public park owned by the city of Edmonds. Guthrie was arrested by arrested by Edmonds Police during the Edmonds Arts Festival for soliciting signatures on a petition to get Libertarian presidential candidate Chase Oliver on Washington’s ballot this year. (Photo provided by Bruce Guthrie)
Edmonds state House candidate arrested collecting petition signatures

Bruce Guthrie believes the city violated his First Amendment rights by arresting him at an event in a public park, making him a “political prisoner.”

Amazon delivery vans at a shipping facility in Chatsworth, Calif., on Jan. 12, 2022. The company has big plans to turn its delivery fleet green, but very few of the vehicles are made right now. (Roger Kisby/The New York Times)
To help fund roads, Washington lawmakers eye fee on deliveries

New revenue options are needed as gas tax collections lag behind rising maintenance costs, but “this is not a done deal.”

Everett Herald staff gather and talk in the newsroom after layoff announcements on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘This breaks my heart’: Roughly half of Everett Herald news staff laid off

A dozen journalists learned their jobs were eliminated Wednesday, in a move new owners Carpenter Media Group said was meant to ensure long-term success of the newspaper.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.