Gavin Christopher Smith, of Lawrence, KS, died on Tuesday, September 28, while hiking in the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. His death came only 17 days after his 30th birthday. He is survived by his loving wife, Melissa and beloved 2 year old son, Liam Christopher, both of whom were his greatest joy.
Born in Lakenheath, England, September 11, 1980, to Greg and Julie Smith, Gavin spent most of his childhood in Papillion, Nebraska. He was a 1999 graduate of Papillion LaVista High School. Following graduation he moved to Lawrence, Kansas to attend the University of Kansas where he lived until his death.
Gavin was the owner of Fatso’s Public House and Stage in Lawrence, KS, co-chair of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network and recent graduate of Leadership Lawrence. He was an active and respected member in the Lawrence community and cherished by so many. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.
Always willing to lend a helping hand to friends, Gavin will forever be remembered as a kind and loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. His passion for life and his love for the family and friends who meant so much to him was undeniable. He lived his days to the fullest, instilling a sense of grandeur while here on this earth. As one person recently commented, “Frankly, Gavin could probably be claimed to be the best friend of 100 people. He was that kind of guy.” Because he lived and loved so grandly, it was only fitting that his life ended in such a wondrous and beautiful place as the Grand Canyon.
In addition to his wife and child, Gavin is survived by his father and mother Greg and Julie Smith of McKinney, Texas; sister Courtney Smith Love and brother-in-law Michael Love; two nephews and a niece, Jack, Noah and Caroline Love of Dallas, Texas; sister and brother-in-law Jennifer and Mike Kraisan; nephew and niece Devin and Madalyn Kraisan of St. Louis, Missouri; paternal grandmother Charlotte Smith of Bowling Green, Kentucky and many numerous family members.
He is preceded in death by paternal grandfather Willard Smith; and maternal grandparents Harold and Florine Manning.
Services will be held, Thursday, October 7th, at Trinity Episcopal Church at 3 p.m., followed by a celebration of Gavin’s life at Liberty Hall at from 4 to 6 p.m. Family Inurnment will be at Pioneer Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Gavin C. Smith Memorial Fund to benefit Liam Smith through Peoples Bank in Lawrence, KS.