Official Obituary of

Kristopher Smith

December 29, 1981 ~ March 19, 2024 (age 42) 42 Years Old

Kristopher Smith Obituary

Kris Smith, one-time Space Camp attendee and star performer of the Cowardly Lion in his High School rendition of The Wizard of Oz, passed away suddenly on March 20, 2024, after losing a last and final battle with his nemesis, his large and often-uncooperative heart. They had quarreled many times previously, but this time that faulty old organ got the best of him, to the deep regret and sadness of all of those who loved him dearly. Who still love him dearly. He was just 42.

Born Kristopher Wade Smith, he would have likely told you that there was nothing remarkable about the time or place into which he was born. However, his birth in Newport, Arkansas on December 29, 1981, to Bill Smith, Jr. and the late Martha Mullins Smith, would shape the humble, intelligent and deeply loving person he would become. He valued the hard work of his parents and grandparents, and had a deep respect for his elders. He loved his family, even when those family relationships were complicated.

Seeing how difficult a life in rural Arkansas could be, he decided at a young age to embrace his education as a path to a different life. He often wore the badge of nerd with pride, and was quick to show off his Nintendo or new game to anyone who would play with him. He loved video games, comic books, writing, and art. And had a deep love of movies that he credited to his mom. He took pride in knowing things that others did not; not in a way that proved he knew more but in a way that showed the world why he became an educator in the first place: to impart knowledge on others through excitement and genuine joy. That passion for teaching others would follow him throughout his life, whether it was third-grade Kris teaching his kindergarten cousin how to identify a snake, or the Kris we would all know later on who was passionate about helping students and seeing them succeed.

Those who knew Kris likely remember that he brought joy and smiles to everyone he came in contact with. His smile was contagious, and when he was happy or proud (of himself or anyone else), that smile filled a room. It was difficult to not feel happy in his presence. From an early age he developed a dry, quick wit that could drop sarcasm just as fast as it could a joke. That wit was sharpened and tested on his younger brother, Daniel, in a way that only an eldest son can torture his younger brother. He must have received that gift of cutting humor from the Mullins side of the family, because to watch him engage in a battle of wits with his mom, Martha, or any of the Mullins clan could be both enjoyable and somewhat terrifying to watch. And when one of his jokes landed, or he found something really funny, he had this contagious full-bodied laugh that was almost like a wheezy-shake. A laugh so distinctive that it could never be mistaken for someone else. Everyone thought Kris was funny, but no one found him more funny than he found himself. Whether it was a little smirk, an exclamation of “Ha!,”, or a laugh that could lift anyone’s spirit, his humor was a treasure we’ll value even more now in its absence.

Kris did many things in his life, and often the most memorable ones were the small interactions and impacts he had with people one-on-one. Consoling friends and cousins and even strangers when they needed it. Encouraging people in whatever they were doing. Offering to help where he could, whether it was just lending a ride or making a trip to show someone he supported them. Or the little conversations he’d have late into the night with you. Or the countless hours he spent recently creating an elaborate Dungeons & Dragons campaign with his brother, Daniel. Work that he enjoyed because of the time they were spending together. He also did big things, like earn his Bachelors in English from Arkansas State University (and would later earn two Master's Degrees in Education), and was a two-time champion of his Fantasy Football League, a feat he might say was more difficult than earning his degree and came with a better trophy.

In 2010, his biggest adventure began. Life after graduating college had left him aimless and a bit melancholy. He wanted his life to have purpose and meaning, but lacked the spark that could push him forward. Then he met the love of his life, Mira Smith (Middleton). It was in that one singular moment when the spark he’d been looking for took fire, and it was the last 14 years that he spent with her that were his happiest and most meaningful. He didn’t hesitate to tell anyone who would listen just how much he loved her. Those who know and love Kris and Mira together know that the moment they met they each let out a long held breath as if to say, “There you are. I found you.” They traveled together, laughed together, were each other’s best friend through some of the best and worst times, and built a life that made Kris incredibly proud. Together, they welcomed their three beautiful daughters into their life; Lucy (12), Katarina (10), and Dinah (10). Those girls, Mira included, were the center of his world. He found his meaning. They will miss his humor, his kindness, patience, and his presence in life from this day forward.

A Celebration of Life for Kris will be held on Friday, March 22 at the Jacksonport State Park Visitor Center, at 111 Avenue Street, in Jacksonport, Arkansas, from 5pm to 9pm.

A GoFundMe has been set up to support his wife and three daughters. People who would like to help can donate at:

And if the Atlanta Falcons happen to read this, Kris waited his entire life for you to win a Super Bowl, but was only met with annual disappointment. He remained a die-hard and loyal fan. It would be pretty cool if you won one to honor him.

Cremation arrangements provided by Sullivan Funeral Care in Kensett, Arkansas. Please sign the online guestbook at 

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Family to Conduct Memorial Service
March 22, 2024

5:00 PM
Jacksonport State Park Visitor Center, Arkansas, Jacksonport


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