Friends, family, remember life of Smelser

Jacob Parker

Adam Smelser, a 25-year-old Florida college graduate who was studying psychology at WKU, was found dead Nov. 21 having been missing since the previous Sunday.

A Facebook page was created in his memory to have a place where anecdotes about and videos of Adam could be shared. Scott Smelser, Adam’s father, said in an announcement on the page that it would be a special present for Bertina, Adam’s mother’s, birthday.

“If you have a special anecdote or memory she wouldn’t know about, or would enjoy remembering, could you please compile them in one place for her?” he said. “This would be the best birthday present for her worst birthday.”

Hailey Rose, a friend of Alex’s from his time in Florida, said in a November 20 her favorite memory of Alex was when he sang Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at a talent show.

“That’s one of my favorite songs, always has been. He sang it beautifully, and I think I even teared up while I listened,” she said. “I’ve listened to it again a few times since Sunday, and I hear it now with a different perspective of the song and with many more memories. Because of the circumstances…, it makes the song extremely difficult to get through because of the lyrics, but I listen anyway. I am blessed to have spent the time at FC [Florida College] that I did with Adam, and I can’t wait to see him again.”

“I remember Adam used to always say “Merry Christmas” as you left the library. Unless it was actually close to Christmas, in which case he would say “Happy Birthday” whether it was your birthday or not,” said Shannon Brown in a Nov. 20 post to the Facebook page.

Whitney Garrett, a friend from bible study, said Adam would always try to be aware of other people’s needs, including when more introverted people would try to participate in a conversation.

“He would speak up and say, ‘Hey, hey, guys, I think [insert name of introvert here] is trying to say something.’ This may not seem like a big thing. But it was to me,” she said. “Not many twenty-something men would even think about making these kinds of efforts or show this much self-reflection. Adam was a great friend and a great brother in Christ. I am richly blessed to count him among my friends.”

Beth Raymer, another friend from Florida College, said Adam ‘walked with ease between levity and sincere concern, and had the rare ability to find something of interest in the seemingly mundane.’

“He was the only boy I’d met who had read Anne of Green Gables, the only person who appreciated the genius of my Star Wars jokes. He took cereal to the homeless man that lived under the bridge,” she said. “Although I ‘thank God for my every remembrance,’ it is bittersweet recalling this wonderful lunatic. It reminded me of what C.S. Lewis says in his poem Joys That Sting: ‘To think of, and then not make, the small time-honored joke, (senseless to all but you).'”