Elder Jake Ryan Smith
Elder Jake Ryan Smith, our "Jakey", was called home to his Heavenly Father on January 7, 2021 while serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Arkansas, Little Rock Mission.
Jake was born on April 24, 2001 in American Fork, Utah to Steve and Tina Smith, he had two sisters and one brother who he loved with all his heart. He grew up and lived his life in Lehi creating memories and building friendships that were priceless and eternal.
Jake will be fondly remembered for his love of adventure and people. From a young age, he lived life "full throttle", always looking for someone to chat with or fun to be had. There was never a dull moment if Jake was around. His ability to light up a room with his infectious smile and infamous "tall tales", as his friends call them, was unprecedented. Growing up, he never backed down from a challenge whether it was sports, academics, or anything else, he would go above and beyond and never give up until the job was done. He was the first to show up and the last to leave.
Jake had a great love of sports and the outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing, camping, snowboarding and dirt biking. He was looking forward to a hunting trip in Colorado with his dad and desert racing with his little sister upon returning from his mission. Jake was never hesitant to try new things, he wanted to do it all, from parkour to playing the guitar to welding and everything in between.
He was a mama's boy through and through, he was her rock and the glue that often held things together. His dad was his hero and adventure buddy. His older sister Ashley talks of his indescribable hugs that seemed to always make everything better. He was his sister Jaynee's biggest advocate and his brother Brayden's "right-hand man." Jake could spend countless hours talking about hunting with his brother-in-law Peter and often talked about how his nephew Boston would be his "little hunting buddy". His family meant everything to him!
Jake graduated from Skyridge High School in 2019. He loved his high school years, creating thousands of memories with his amazing group of friends. Lettering in wrestling and captain of the mountain bike team were only a couple of his highlights. He was a seminary graduate and an Eagle Scout. This is where he learned to always be prepared, and prepared he was! You would seldom find Jake without his cowboy boots, pocket knife, and flashlight ready to serve at a moments notice and you better bet he'd have a Mountain Dew and Taco Bell in hand.
His ability to make people feel loved and accepted was second nature. He had a way of just meeting someone and making them feel as though they were instant best friends. He had a heart of gold and would be there to lift anyone in a time of need. He was a lover of people and would give the shirt off his back, or quite literally, the tie clip off his tie. He believed in standing for right, even if it meant he stood alone.
He had a special place in his heart for his close knit group of friends and this is something his family will cherish forever. He was a natural born gentleman and was the protector for all of his little "sisters" both family and friends. To his friends he'd say, "See you in a minute!".
His missionary work started when he was young and has never stopped. He was proud to be the first member in his entire family to serve a mission and he couldn't wait to go out and share the light and love of Christ with the people of Arkansas. While serving his mission, he quickly fell in love with the area and especially the people. Jake recently expressed how much he loved the area he was last serving in. He had just become district leader, a role he took to heart. He spent his last days on his mission sharing his testimony and being an example to everyone he came in contact with. He was where he wanted to be, doing what he wanted to be doing. Although he was taken from this earth too soon, we find comfort in knowing Jake's missionary work is continuing on both sides of the veil.
Some things will never be the same, but the message Jake spent his last days spreading was that our Heavenly Father loves us, families are forever, and that we can return to Him. These truths will never change! Jake left a final scripture for all of us found in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3:1, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." To this he probably would have added a "Never forget that!" and a " Now Send It!"
The family would like to express their heartfelt condolences to the many people he loved in Arkansas. A special thanks to President and Sister Cahoon, President and Sister Hansen, all of the ALRM missionaries, Bishop John Sherwood and the Beebe Ward, and many countless others.
Words cannot express the gratitude the Smith family has for the outpouring of love, the widespread generosity and donations from family, friends, and even those they don't know.
Jake is survived by his parents, Steve and Tina Smith. Siblings, Ashley (Peter) Buhler, Brayden Smith and Jaynee Smith. Nephew, Boston Buhler. Grandparents, Jerry and Diane Smith, Mike and Marcia Jarrett. Along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins who love him dearly.
He was embraced and welcomed home by his aunts, Terry Lynn Jarrett and Teresa Scott along with his great grandparents.
A public viewing will be held Friday, January 15th from 5-8 pm at Wing Mortuary, 118 E Main Lehi, Utah.
Masks and social distancing are required.
In order to help with social distancing and minimize wait time, we ask that families with the last names beginning with A-M come between the hours of 5-6:30 pm and last names beginning with N-Z come between 6:30-8 pm. This is just a request, please participate in any way you can.
You may also view the funeral services live. A link for streaming will be provided at www.wingmortuary.com
Friends and family may share memories of Jake on Facebook "In Memory of Elder Jake Smith" or "@jakes_tall_tales" on Instagram.
Condolences can also be shared at www.wingmortuary.com
FAMILY FUNERAL SERVICES will be held by invitation only due to COVID restrictions, on Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 1 pm.
Heartfelt thanks to Wing Mortuary and Haws Floral.