SSG. Tyler James Smith was born July 13, 1987, at Melbourne, Fla., to Dan Allen Smith and Karla (Jeannie) (Michel) Smith. While serving in the United States Army, he was killed in Afghanistan, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, making his age 24 years.
Tyler graduated from Licking High School in 2006. He was saved at a young age and was a faithful member of the Licking Pentecostal Church, where he attended until he left for the Army.
He was united in marriage to Lara Riann Lingo on May 15, 2006. They were blessed with two children, son Wyatt, 5, and daughter, Carson, 2.
Tyler was fun to be with and made people laugh with his quick humor and stories. He loved to tease and was light hearted. He was someone who you could count on to have an opinion, and he wasn’t hesitant to share it with you. Most of all, Tyler loved his family, and we are so blessed to have had him in our lives.
He enjoyed the peace and quiet of being outdoors. He grew up hunting and fishing with his dad and brother, and taking Wyatt along as he got older, teaching him the skills of being an outdoorsman. He was wrapped around his baby girl’s finger and greatly adored her. He was an avid reader, having magazines and books everywhere. He loved spending time on Current River floating and swimming. When he first starting courting Lara, he would take Ethan fishing at Montauk, fish for a while, then spend the majority of the time at the snack counter where Lara worked. He knew he wanted to be in the military as a very young boy. When he was asked by classmates, after enlisting in the Army of why he joined, he said, “Somebody has to do it.” It was his responsibility to do what he could. He loved his job and his fellow brothers in arms.
Preceding Tyler in death were his paternal grandparents, Don and Wilma Smith; maternal grandfather, Charles Michel; cousin, Jackie Michel; and his father-in-law, Michael Lingo.
Tyler is survived by his wife, Lara Smith, and children, Wyatt and Carson, all of Fort Bragg, N.C.; his parents, Dan and Jeannie Smith and brother, Ethan Smith, all of Licking, Mo.; maternal grandmother, Nadine Michel of Hartshorn, Mo.; uncles and aunts, Diana and Butch, Rhonda, Lonnie and Mary, Denny and Debra, Curt and Melissa and Kelli; and a host of great aunts, uncles, and many cousins; his in-laws, Jan and Wayne Hansen and Elaina Lingo; brothers-in-law, Adam, Aaron, and Dustin Martin; and sisters-in-law, Jessica Boyd, Amanda Yates and Brittany Lingo.
Funeral services were 2 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 2012, at the Licking Penecostal Church with the Rev. David Jett and the Rev. Jerry Dodson officiating. Interment was in Smith Cemetery of Texas County on Big Creek with full Military Honors and Honors Escort by the Patriot Guard. Arrangements were under the care of Bradford Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at bradfordfuneralhome.net. Donations may be made to the Tyler J. Smith Memorial Fund at Fisher House or donate through fisherhouse.org.