Keagan Christopher Smith was born on Nov. 24, 1986, and after 34 and 3/4 mostly wonderful years journeying around the sun — his time here on earth came to an end on the last full weekend of July 2021.
Keagan was born in southern California, the first child of Chris and Michele (Marcellin) Smith.
He lived his first seven years in the heart of the Angeles Forest, where his deep love of nature started. One of Keagan’s first words was “bear” while riding on his daddy’s shoulders and pointing to a bear on the trail up ahead. Keag was climbing 30-foot trees by the age of 4, helping kill rattlesnakes by the age of 5, calling in owls by 6, and by the age of 7 he was selling his stellar lizard snares to the young campers attending the Christian camp where he and his family lived.
Keagan was a highly motivated home-schooler and he memorized the epic battle speech from Shakespeare’s “Henry V” in his early teens. Keagan was in awe of William Wallace, Ivanhoe and all things knight-in-shining-armor. He spent his last few years of school at Pagosa High, where he most likely still holds the record for the most number of yellow cards in a single soccer season. One of the highlights of Keagan’s childhood was spending chunks of his summers with his grandparents, King Louis and Queen Linda, and relishing in each moment with the members of his beloved Marcellin Cousin Club. Keagan was definitely his family’s very own version of “Jedidiah Strong Smith”: a true mountain man. He was a hunter extraordinaire, like his Grandpa Louis, and thrived in the outdoors. Like his father — Keagan loved joking around — and he somehow knew we all needed to have the bajeebees scared out of us every once in awhile.
Keagan and his dad were the first of his family to move out to Colorado so they could begin building their new home. Keag would go on to work with his dad for years in construction, eventually becoming his very capable right-hand man.
Keagan married the love of his life, Cheyenne, in September 2013, just a month before the tragic car accident that so abruptly changed his life. No “knight-in-shining-armor” ever fought with more courage than Sir Keagan as he bravely battled through the pain and difficult health challenges he faced after the accident. Though their marriage ended in 2020, Keagan and Cheyenne remained whole-heartedly committed to their precious sons, Kai Easton and Liam Strong Smith.
Before the accident, Keagan was honored to work for, and be mentored by, Lyn and Darrin Ritchey, adding his artistic touches to their award-winning homes.
Keagan had a contagious smile, a winsome laugh and he loved his family and friends fiercely. To be hugged by Keagan was an event in itself. His hugs always left us smiling, though we were inwardly wincing in pain and trying not to say, “Ouch!” — but ohhhh, what we would all do to have Keag squeeze the stuffing out of us just one more time.
Keagan was as strong-willed as a person comes — in all the “good” ways. He was all-fire passionate about whatever he was doing. Nothing could quite match the glint in Keagan’s eye when he had a creative idea. Whether it was building a snow cave, making a marble maze, whittling a wooden sword or putting together a Star Wars LEGO set with his boys — Keag had a vivid imagination and always used his incredibly creative juices to the hilt. He could literally make or repair just about anything, and once he set his sights on a task, nothing could derail him from getting it done.
Preceding Keagan in death were his Uncle Tom and Grandpa Louis, who have already welcomed him to Heaven.
Keagan’s Fan Club here on earth is led by his devoted parents Chris and Michele, and his siblings: Kailey and Kyle Wiggers, Sawyer and Hadley Smith, Sydney and Tadd Quiller, Kassidy Smith, Sully and Ellen Smith and Blake Brueckner.
Keagan is cherished by his grandmothers, Linda Marcellin and April Holthaus; and deeply respected by his Grandpa Mike Smith.
Keagan is thoroughly adored by his aunties and uncles: Melissa and Joel McGregor, Minette and Tony Allmoslecher, Carolyn and Bob Springer and Andrea and Steve Sprague.
Keagan’s Fan Club also includes each of his dear, dear cousins, and his flock of ever-adoring nieces and nephews.
Keagan was remarkable and his loss will be especially felt by his cherished boys, Kai and Liam, who were by far Keagan’s greatest reason to push through each day.
None of us will be the same without our Keagan here with us; but we are certain of his residence at present, in the High Court of the Most High King of all Kings — and we cannot wait to do eternity with him.
But for now — here and now — our present deep-down ache is like a line from Keagan and Kai’s all-time favorite childhood book, “Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen:
“Oh-oh! A heart-ache!
“A big, deep heart-ache.
“We can’t go over it.
“We can’t go under it.
“We’ve got to go through it!”