On April 7, 2008, Army Sgt. Timothy Smith of South Lake Tahoe, a “fun-loving” and “caring” 25-year-old, according to his family, was killed in Iraq when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb.
He was clearing the roads of improvised explosive devices in Baghdad at the time, and was alive for 30 minutes before he died from his wounds, said his mother, South Lake Tahoe resident Patty Smith, who has planned a memorial for her son on Monday.
“He lit up the room when he walked in,” his mother said in an email Thursday. “He was a protector and a person who everyone just wanted to be with.”
The Celebration of Life will be the sixth the Smiths have held for their fallen family member since his death. This year, they’ll also plant a tree in Timothy Smith’s memory.
The public event will be held at Patty Smith’s house, located at 848 Placer Ave., where family and friends can share memories of her son and take part in a potluck. The get-together will run from about 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Smith, the first of three children, was born and raised in South Lake Tahoe. As a child, “Timmy was my bundle of joy and was such a happy baby and was so curious about everything,” his mother said.
Smith graduated from South Lake Tahoe High School in 2001 and worked around town before enlisting in the Army in April 2004. In March 2006, he was sent to Afghanistan and finished his first tour eight months later. He was deployed in Iraq in late 2007.
Patty Smith is requesting that friends and businesses in town fly their flags at half-staff in honor of her son on Monday. She asked anyone who might have questions to contact her via Facebook or call her at 530-416-9100.