Official Obituary of

Matthew Warren Smith

November 30, 1993 ~ February 27, 2024 (age 30) 30 Years Old

Matthew Smith Obituary


Matthew Warren Smith was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 30, 1993, to Gerald Smith, Jr. and Christie Parker Smith. At a young age he was the precocious one. In elementary school he earned the President’s Outstanding Excellence Award. Upon receiving a congratulatory letter from the White House, he remarked that he thought the president could have written him a longer letter.

Middle school marked the beginning of his years long affiliation with the People to People Student Ambassadors program that lasted through high school. The program was started by President Eisenhower as a cultural exchange program. Through the program, Matthew traveled to Australia, China, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. As part of an exchange program, he also traveled to Spain. In the 8th grade, after preparing a report on Albert Einstein, he announced that he wanted to be a physicist when he grew up.

At Sherwood high school he played the trombone in the symphonic band, participated in the cross-country team, was a member of the It’s Academic Team, the National Honor Society, the Debate Team, Boy Scouts and the Montgomery County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout, boy scouting’s highest level.

Only four percent of all scouts earn the Eagle rank. They are required to earn at least 21 merit badges, hold leadership positions, exemplify the scout oath and law, and complete a comprehensive service project. Eagle scouts are expected to be the leaders in life that they have been in scouting. Matthew earned 56 merit badges and held the following leadership positions within Troop 433: Senior Patrol Leader twice; Assistant Senior Patrol Leader twice; Assistant Patrol Leader twice; Quartermaster twice; Order of the Arrow Representative; Librarian; and Patrol Leader. In Jack and Jill, he served as the teen parliamentarian and vice president.

From high school, Matthew matriculated to Purdue University where he earned two bachelor’s degrees in physics and Spanish. In college he joined two fraternities: Delta Sigma Phi and Alpha Phi Omega. Since graduation from Purdue, he has been employed with Gentex Corporation in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a physicist specializing in optics. One of his projects, electronic dimmable windows, can been seen on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Matthew originally wanted to be a nuclear physicist, but a summer internship at the University of Maryland in optical physics changed that trajectory.

In Matthew’s free time he loved to travel and focus on social justice issues. He started running marathons, having completed three, the last of which was on October 16, 2023, and riding a motorcycle. The latter claimed his life with traveling in the Dominican Republic on February 27, 2024. He wanted to make a career transition by starting law school. His plan was to become a lawyer, join the Army Reserves and eventually go into politics.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Smith, Jr., maternal grandmother, Mrs. Florida Fisher Parker, paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Smith, Sr. and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, COL (Ret.) Herbert Parker, Ph.D.

Arrangements are by Snowden Funeral Home at




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