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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coping with the loss of Kimberly Smith

By Amanda Noel

Shock, sadness and anger were the general consensus when word spread about the passing of 20-year-old Kimberly Smith, a Columbia College student whose life was brutally taken from her during spring break on March 29.

“I guess I’ve always considered my friends to be invincible from this sort of thing happening to them,” said Lyn Haddock, junior, at Smith’s memorial on April 6.

“When we were freshmen, Kim, out of all of our friends, was the one who had it all together,” said Laura Parker, junior. “She had a steady boyfriend at the time that she planned to marry; she had enough credits coming into college to graduate early. Kim really knew what she was doing with her life.”

Smith was due to graduate in May with a degree in criminal justice from Columbia College. A mural was set up for people to share their memories of Kim in the Atkins-Holman Student Commons during the week after spring break, April 5-9. Among other things, she was described by many as a sweet, beautiful, fun and smart young lady who had a contagious smile and piercing blue-green eyes.

The daughter of Gary Wesley and Mary Katherine (Jenkins) Smith, she was born June 16, 1989 in Lake St. Louis, Mo. She grew up in Troy, Mo., and graduated from Troy Buchanan High School in 2007. Smith is survived by her parents, Gary Smith of Troy and Kay Smith and fiancé Eddie Aschoff of Moscow Millis; one sister, Leah Craig and husband Aaron of Silex and two nieces, Kaylee and Brooke Craig; one half sister, Kadie Aschoff of Moscow Mills; her grandparents, Harry and Mildred Smith of Moscow Mills and Genevieve Crane of Troy; and many other relatives.

No one will ever know why she was taken from us so soon, and the void from her loss may never be filled, but the times Kim shared with us will be cherished in our hearts forever.

Kim lived in Miller Hall her freshman year of college and was in my close circle of friends. I had the pleasure of being her roommate in the campus apartments, Cougar Village, last year. We shared a lot of great memories together. She participated in Columbia College’s Criminal Justice Club and intramural softball, volleyball and soccer and worked on campus through work study. Kim was a faithful St. Louis Blues hockey fan and loved rock music. We went on many bike rides together on the MKT trail in Columbia. Kim and our friends had the time of our lives making the best of the college scene at clubs and parties and spent the majority of our time studying and having downtime in our apartment with our friends and other two roommates, Jillian Rathert and Jamila Kerr, both juniors.

Although I can’t explain why something so awful happened to such a great person, I have learned something from Kim. Life is short, and you have to make the best of it. Although stress from school bothered Kim a lot, she still made a point of enjoying every moment of her life. After what happened to her, I know that my life could be taken from me any minute and that has made me realize that I have to make the best of it and not worry so much about the future. Just live life to the fullest. I encourage everyone reading this to do the same.

Our memories of you will never be forgotten Kimberly. Rest in peace. For more photos of Kim with family and friends, please see my gallery on flickr.

Remember Me
By Judith Karen Bulock

Remember me when the flowers bloom
Early in the spring
Remember me on sunny days
In the fun that summer brings

Remember me in the fall
As you walk though the leaves of gold
And in the wintertime – remember me
In the stories that are told

But most of all remember
Each day – right from the start
I will be forever near
For I live within your heart

Photo credits:
Kimberly Smith’s high school senior picture.

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