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Baggerley Funeral Home

930 South Broadway, Edmond, OK

OBITUARY

Nathan Houston Smith

January 22, 1999August 15, 2018
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Nathan “Nate” Houston Smith was born to his biological parents on January 22, 1999 in Wichita Falls, Texas. After spending a significant portion of his life in the foster care system, Nate was adopted at the age of thirteen by Jeremy and Amy Smith. Nate passed from this life on August 15, 2018 at the age of nineteen. Nate is survived by his parents, Jeremy and Amy Smith of Edmond, Oklahoma; two siblings, Brooklyn Lucas and Brody Smith of Edmond, Oklahoma; along with numerous adoptive and biological family members.

Nate lived the majority of his life in Oklahoma, with several of those years being in the Edmond area. Nate attended Oklahoma Christian Academy until his sophomore year of high school. During his time at OCA he participated in football, basketball, baseball and his church youth group.

While in school Nate was an above average student with a ton of friends. He loved football, snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding. He was a snake wrangler and horse whisperer. He sang loudly in the car, went through a box of cereal every 48 hours and drank orange juice from the carton. He lost everything he owned at least once and had the attention span of whatever is smaller than a gnat. He always up for trying something new and was ridiculously good at most things he tried. He was fluent in sarcasm, too charming for his own good and made a new friend everywhere he went.

Today Nate should be a week into his dream of playing college ball. He should be taking his sweet time returning his mom’s text about coming home for the weekend and hinting to his dad he needs gas money. He should be arranging skateboard dates with his brother and telling his sister about a cute girl in his biology class. He should be running out of credit in the cafeteria, double dating with his roommate and calling home to ask about holiday plans. Nate was a witty, talented, bright, charismatic young man with big dreams and he should be here today. He should be okay.

But he isn’t.

Because as hard as he tried, as hard as so many tried, Nate could not overcome the impact of childhood trauma and mental illness. As he got older his symptoms intensified and eventually overwhelmed not only him but those around him.

For those who have never thought much about kids from hard places let Nate be their mascot. A beautiful boy who could outrun us all but could not escape the trauma he experienced. A young man with a wide, easy smile that masked the pain he carried into every space. He spent much of his time anxious and depressed, angry and exhausted. His mental health diagnosis ranged depending on the doctor and the day. His symptoms and behaviors shifted with age and circumstance but what did not change was his belief that there was something so fundamentally wrong that he was unworthy of goodness. Peace. Joy. Family. Love.

There is no easy fix but there are places to start. Become trauma informed. Educate yourself about the impact of adverse childhood experiences and share your newfound knowledge. Report suspected abuse and/or neglect. Consider becoming a foster parent. Elect leaders who prioritize meeting the needs of vulnerable children and families. Mentor a child or adolescent living in tough conditions. Offer emotional support to a pregnant woman exploring adoption. Provide respite to an overwhelmed caregiver. Donate to organizations focused on prevention.

And do any and all of these with no expectation, understanding you will be climbing uphill for much of an uncertain journey. Making Nate ours, loving and losing him are the hardest things we’ve ever done. And he is worth it.

Rest easy, Nate. We love you big and we’ll see you again~

Mom, Dad, Brooke & Brody

*Nate’s family chose a private service to celebrate his life. Nate would also encourage everyone to consider becoming an organ donor, a decision he made personally that improved the lives of at least three individuals.

Memories

Nathan Houston Smith

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Amy Smith

January 22, 2020

Happy heavenly 21st, Nate! Love you big❤️ Mom

Monica Hoenshell

November 18, 2019

Monica Hoenshell

November 18, 2019

Monica Hoenshell

November 18, 2019

Nate, you are so missed and loved. Your beautiful smile is forever etched in our hearts. I hope you are flashing it constantly to all around you. From family vacation to just hanging out, we had so many good times together. We will cherish those memories forever.

Jeremy Smith

November 11, 2019

Watching football isn’t the same. Miss and love you, kid.
~Dad

brody smith

November 11, 2019

Brooklyn Lucas

November 11, 2019

You'll never not be my brother. Miss you everyday.

Connor Ayers

November 9, 2019

I met Nate when I was 14, on a trip my family took with the Smith’s. My parents and Nate’s are close, so we were around each other a lot. The Smith’s are like family, and Nate was like a brother. I think my favorite memory of Nate was when he asked me what my favorite music genre was, and I said “rap.” He was VERY surprised by my response. But he eagerly got out his phone, and gave me many song suggestions. Nate never failed to make me laugh, and I miss him every day. Love you bro, can’t wait to see you again 💙

Christy Lentz

November 9, 2019

When I would see Nate at OCA in the halls, he would come up with his signature smile, a big “Momma Lentz!” and a hug. Even though I loved all the kids, Nate and I had a special bond.

He had a special way with little kids. There was a week he came with me to Mother’s Day Out. He played trucks, wrapped baby dolls in blankets and pushed kids “higher, higher” in the swings. Watching him for those 2 days, I knew the kids that he was gravitating towards were the kids who were adopted. Somehow they had an unspoken connection. One of them didn’t like to nap so Nate sat with him and talked about toys, what they would do when rest time was over and Disney. While that could have been a hard week, I saw sweet things come from it.

When Jeremy was in the hospital, Nate came to stay with us for a couple of days. We took walks (even stopping to pet the neighbors cows), watched movies, blew bubbles, he watched my Mom play piano and tried to learn a song. Anything he put his mind to, he could do. He plunked out a few notes of “Trust and Obey”. While he and I were alone he told me some hard stories about his childhood. And I was glad that he trusted me enough to be there for him.

Loving Nate changed me. And I’m forever grateful for the chance to be his friend.

Hannah Lentz

November 9, 2019

I met Nate when he came to OCA and right from the start, we became inseparable. Whether it was coming to my house to blow bubbles, meeting us at the lake and spending hours just talking, or going to the bookstore and making jokes we probably shouldn’t have, we were always having a good time. I still go through my messages with him and can’t help but smile thinking of all the good times we had together. He was truly my best friend and even when we went a few months without talking, we would pick up like no time had gone by. I miss him everyday but I’m sure he’s watching over me and keeping me safe.

I love you forever Kiante❤️

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