Joseph Edward Smith Jr. 1977 - 2024

Joseph Edward Smith Jr. passed away peacefully on July 2, 2024, with his family by his side, after a short battle from a previously unknown heart condition. He was 47.

Joseph was born January 31, 1977, in Salem, Oregon, to Joseph and Sharon Smith. He was raised at the Valley Junction family home. He attended Grand Ronde Elementary and Willamina Middle and Union High schools. Growing up, Joseph was energetic, determined and mischievous. Some of his antics led him to be nicknamed “Calvin” (from the Calvin and Hobbes comic). His energy and determination would also lead him to a successful junior wrestling career. Starting at age 9, he wrestled for Mat Clubs, traveling all over the Northwest, and for his middle and high school teams. In high school, he became nationally recognized and compiled over 100 wins and only seven losses, going undefeated in his sophomore and junior years and winning two state championships and two state runners-up. Joseph was proud but humble of his wrestling accomplishments.

After graduation, Joseph went to work as a table games dealer at the local Casino. He was considered a role model employee and really enjoyed interacting with players and co-workers. He also became very skilled and was a favored dealer to many players.

Working hard and playing hard became Joseph’s lifestyle. His job, spending time with friends and riding his ATVs on the dunes, became his passion. Unfortunately, in 2002, Joseph was involved in an ATV accident which left him with a traumatic brain injury and partially disabled. Life was somewhat of a struggle for Joseph after his TBI and dealing with his disability, but he always remained kind and caring to those who crossed his path. He could always be counted on for a kindhearted joke and/or a deep thought.

Joseph is survived by his son, Ezekiel (Zeke) Smith; grandmother, Shirley Wilson; brother, Richard (Amy) Smith; sisters, Melanie (Mike) Hubbard and Mindy (Zach) Nichols; along with many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends, who will miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, July 19, 2024, at Green Crest Memorial Park in Sheridan, Oregon.


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