November 24, 2009

Taige Steven Smith.

Update: there’s a wonderful blog with many comments and remembrances here.


I was inspired by today’s gathering, wake, at Centro in Boulder, in honor of Taige, to write something up in his honor. Not knowing him much, I’m inadequate to the task, so if you’re reading this and knew him well, or know of a friend of his who might be inspired to write a dedication, just email it to me and I’ll post it instead of, or on top of my weak attempt below. Please also feel free to leave dedications in the comments section at bottom. ~ W.

Taige Smith, a gentle giant and manager at Centro in Boulder, passed away unexpectedly and too soon last week. Still, if life is measured by our ability to “be of benefit” to others, as they say in Buddhism, Taige lived a full life. He was beloved by all who knew him, and inspired more love than most anyone I know. He will be missed.

I didn’t know him well at all—but like so, so, so many in Boulder, I liked him a lot. He was that kind of modern fun-loving gentleman: everyone loved him, from all different walks of life…he brought ’em all together and made a whole new community. Taige’s community of true friends was in full, teary but cheerful and even joyful, yet still heartbroken effect today at his crowded wake at Centro. You knew who his family was—like Taige himself, they towered over a crowded room.

One close friend of Taige’s was crying so much it seemed her eyes were blue waterfalls. She cried not with anger, though, but with love. It was a beautiful, powerful gathering, and a hard one to stay at—the emotion was so strong—but it was even harder to leave, as the love was so full.

Click the above photo for Hosea’s tribute.

From his family:

BOULDER, Colo. – On Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, the angels called our beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend home. He passed away unexpectedly and left us far too soon.

Taige Steven Smith was born Aug. 21, 1981, in Missoula, to Kelly and Linda Smith.

Taige attended school in Missoula, graduating from Sentinel High School in 2000. He attended college in Missoula, Hawaii and the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned a degree in anthropology. Taige made his home in Boulder where he worked as the general manager for the Centro Restaurant. The Big Red F Restaurant Group was a huge part of Taige’s Colorado family.

Taige had a passion and zest for life, living and loving every day to its fullest. He was a connoisseur of great food, fine wine, good beer and music. Taige loved fresh powder, and a good day of skiing was one of his greatest joys. Taige rose to the challenge of four-wheeling; however, the Ford Explorer did not. But, above all else, Taige loved spending time with his friends and family.

Taige’s family would like to thank Hosea Rosenberg for his touching tribute. He speaks for us all,“Farewell, My friend and fellow family member of the Big Red F, Taige Smith, passed away last night. He was one of the most outgoing, friendly, sincere, happy, and nicest people I have ever had the privilege of sharing a day with. He will be forever missed but not forgotten. He leaves in his wake a group of people saddened by his passage but uplifted by his spirit. Always one to share a smile and a hug, Taige leaves us with the lesson to be good and kind to your fellow man. God bless you, Taige.”

Taige is survived by his parents Kelly and Linda; brother Parker; his grandmother Wanda Smith; grandparents Dick and Nancy Deden; and numerous loving aunts, Sue, Doris, Karen, Vicki, Lee, Carol and Wilma; uncles, Mike, Pete, Ivan, Tommy, George; and cousins, Reyel, Skylar, Jordan, Trystan, Kellen, Bryn, McCall, Bridger, Cheyenne, Challis, Lexi, Daniel and Hayley.

His spirit will continue to live on through his many, many wonderful friends, colleagues and “family” members, particularly Beth Miller and Katie Pestotnik, from Colorado to Montana and all points beyond. Taige will remain in the hearts of all those he touched and those who touched him.

There will be a celebration of life at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at Centro and a memorial service to follow in Missoula. The memorial service will be at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at Atonement Lutheran Church.

“May there always be untracked powder days for you, love you Taige,” – Melissa Manley.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to your local chapter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

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