Bradford Joseph Smith (April 20, 1982 – October 14, 2020) How do you encapsulate the life of someone so profound? Though the wide world may not know him well, those who did know Brad understand that he was, in many ways, larger than life. His passion for life and profound love of people impacted more individuals than he ever truly realized. He earnestly cared. He wanted to ensure that people had what they needed – food, healthcare, and especially rights. He believed that if something was a problem for one person, then it was everyone’s problem. He knew how to listen to what a person was actually saying, as well as the words that were coming out of their mouth, and then how to help them identify their own needs. Most of all, he knew how to love on people until they became the very best version of themselves.
Brad was born on April 20, 1982 to Barbara Jean (nee Bradford) and Dr. Joseph A. Smith, Jr. in Salt Lake City, Utah. He loved the snow and was skiing almost before he could walk. He loved his big sister, Carolyn Smith Hicks, and little sister, Christine Smith (Brad) Gill. His family moved to Nashville when he was nine where he graduated from Franklin Road Academy in 2001. He attended Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2005. He studied clinical psychology at Western Kentucky University before completing a Masters in Counseling Psychology at Tennessee State University in 2009. He also studied culinary arts at the University of South Carolina.
Over the years, he held a variety of positions in several fields. But his favorite jobs in this life were as husband and father. In 2007, he married his college sweetheart, Janie McElwee, whom he had been dating since 2002. She was his partner in life and in love for the remainder of his years. They loved board games, traveling, and cooking. They were the proud canine parents of Sophie (passed in 2015), Loki, and Charlie. It was not until 2017 that they were finally blessed with a set of fraternal human twins: Lucien Frederic Smith and Arthur Bradford Smith. Being a father was the greatest joy of Brad’s life. He loved his boys fiercely and worked tirelessly to ensure that they learned and grew into beautiful little humans. In addition, along the way, Brad and Janie picked up their bonus kid, Taylor Thompson, who began as their nanny and became the family member they had never realized they were missing.
Brad was predeceased by his mother Barbara Jean Bradford Smith. He is survived by his wife, the Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith; his sons, Lucien & Arthur Smith, and bonus kid, Taylor Thompson; his father, Dr. Joseph A. Smith, Jr.; his sisters Carolyn E. Smith Hicks & Christine A. Smith (Brad) Gill; his niece Madelyn and nephews Joseph, James, & Matthew; his best friends: the Rev. Frederick E. Brogdon, III, Jason A. Hollingsworth, and Suzie D. Seager; as well as countless other family members and friends.
A private memorial service will be held in Nashville this coming week at Westminster Presbyterian Church (USA), officiated by the Rev. Melanie A. Smith and the Rev. Heidi Hudnut-Beumler.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the ACLU or the JDRF.
Arrangements by Sorge Funeral Home & Crematory Inc., Hollidaysburg.
In the words of Brad’s favorite lyrics: “Now go do the best things in life, take the fight to this world while you can, make the most of the rest of your life, shine your light on this world while you can.” (Disturbed)
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