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.


Nathan Houston Smith

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Mel Smith

March 21, 2019

I met Nate when I was 16 in a residential treatment center. The first thing he did when he got there was went to the gym and did like 100 pull ups. Nate and I became inseparable. 3 years later and that bond was always the same.. just as strong. We talked every single week where he would talk about his life and I would talk about mine. No matter what he was going through he always listened to everything I said and always said you’ll be okay. Sometimes I don’t know what to think of this and I’ll never know why, but I know this if it wasn’t for Amy taking him in we would have lost him a long time ago. I’m so grateful to have met him & I carry a piece of him around my neck everyday. Nate you saved my life. And with God’s grace, I know you’re watching over all of your loved ones everyday. I love you so much kid


February 21, 2019

I was fortunate to meet and work with Nate. I am truly sorry for your loss. I have seen him at both good and bad times, but I have seen that innocent boy that has a loving and caring heart. Your obituary is very well written and I am glad to hear that it is getting all the media coverage it is. Mental health needs to be seen in another light for all. I pray he is at peace and my thoughts and prayers are with you all as you attempt to move forward in life without his physical presence.

Chandler Farris

October 15, 2018

I love you and I miss you bud. We had so many good times and shared so much. I could always talk to you about anything. You are my bro and I hope to see you again

Nicki Moad

October 13, 2018

Thank you for sharing Nate’s story- the good, the bad and everything in between. While I do not know your family, I saw his obituary on Facebook from a friend. I am truly sorry for your loss. I am in awe at your love not only for Nate but sending an amazing message of hope to those in great need. God bless Nate and your family. May his memory be eternal.

Sarah H

October 10, 2018

Dear Smith family,
I don't know you and I didn't know your son. Your message has spread around Facebook and as a foster parent I want to say thank you. You have taken a heartbreaking tragedy, one of which I can not even begin to imagine your level of grief, & chosen to use Nates story to speak truth for so many other children who live in similar places as Nate came from. It has spoken to many and Nates story will continue to be shared and to make others aware of the desperate battle these children face through no fault of their own.
Thank you for your honest writing about your son so that hopefully other children can be spared some of the same pain he faced.

I am so so sorry for your pain and that Nate could never see the value he had to your family, his friends, and God.
May the Lord bring you comfort and a peace that only He can give through this trying time.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted... Psalms 34:18a
I pray you He will be close to you through the moments of pain.

Karen Johnston

October 2, 2018

Dear family of Nate, I am so very sorry for your loss, please know I am praying for your healing, comfort and peace. 2 Corinthians 5:8. My 21 year old grandson suffers from bipolar, it is heart breaking and did not manifest until around 17 years old. He also has PTSD from being bullied in high school. We try not to be anxious but everyday deep inside we are. I am a Christian woman and have even lost at least one good friend from unkind remarks, no one truly understands unless you live in this world. May God bless your broken hearts. In Him

Ronnice Bradley

September 24, 2018

Too the family I’m so sorry to hear about Nate , this break my heart..I will keep u guys lifted in prayer!!! Nate was a great kid I worked at the YMCA for quite sometime in many areas, I remember a big smile and jokes and with lots of laughter he was a great kid, I will never forget that smile!!! Watch over ur family Nate..
With Love Ronnice
From the Edmond Area YMCA

Wendy Meyers

September 21, 2018

I was adopted at 3 months old. I can relate to your son's situation. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Missy Kaukola

September 21, 2018

I'm so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful son. I lost my son on Christmas Day 2016 after years of suffering from depression. He was 21 and he was more amazing than he ever knew. He just could not see what we saw. He gave so much love and compassion to everyone he ever met, and in a blink he was gone. Jared was an organ donor and his gift of life has made a huge difference in the lives of three people as well. I've been able to be in contact with two of them, meeting one of them in person. I hope that you are able to communicate with your son's recipients in time. If you'd like to talk, please message me when the timing is right for you. Losing a child is so very much to process. I'm praying for you all to find peace and comfort that surpasses all understanding. Even in the midst of our darkest seasons, God is still good! Much love to you ~Missy

Theresa Doubet

September 21, 2018

I my self suffer with complex PTSD. I was abused as a child and know the pain. I fight everyday to live as God intended, and remind myself I am his daughter, he loves me, and I am worthy. I am 44 and when this was happening to me NO ONE talked about it. It was swept under the rug. I am so thankful people are aware, watching, and talking about it. I am so sorry for your loss. Healing thoughts and prayers are being sent to you and your family..