Reid Douglas Smith preferred innovation and discovery to routine and familiar paths, and he continually tested the limits of what was possible. He was smart, warm, creative and determined. He had the adventurer’s wanderlust, the artist’s sensitive heart and the alchemist’s mind. Reid was eager to take on challenges. He ran footraces, raced mountain bikes and rode the slopes on a snowboard. He swam open waters, surfed the waves and plumbed ocean depths as a diver. He created ceramic sculptures and painted in many styles. He traveled throughout the United States and in other countries. Reid loved building projects, photographing people, rooting for University of Washington Huskies’ football and looking for ways to improve the world for others around him.
Reid was a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend, and his passing brings much sadness to all who knew him. Reid died on July 11 in Emeryville, California following a long struggle with depression. He was 31.
Reid was born on Jan. 28, 1987 in Napa to Eileen and Mark Smith. As a student at Napa High School, Reid studied at the Honors level, gained fluency in Spanish, lettered in both cross country and track, and found fulfillment in participating with the Best Buddies program. He traveled to Italy as a member of the Napa High School choir. He was involved in local theater, including playing the role of Conrad Birdie in a production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”
After graduating high school, Reid enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he studied dietetics. He later attended the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, earning an A.A.S. with honors in Photojournalism, before moving on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude in Communications from the University of Washington. While in Rochester, he also earned a New York state EMT certificate. Reid was active in AmeriCorps, first in Cleveland with City Year as an elementary school teacher’s aide, and later in Seattle, with the American Red Cross as a client services coordinator.
Reid traveled to Costa Rica and Mexico to study Spanish. In Mexico, he met Linda Acevedo Perez, and they were soon married. In Napa, where the couple made their home, Reid worked as a social worker and drove buses for VINE Transit. He was a hard worker, and in his spare time, he helped many of his friends in Napa and Sonoma with their construction projects.
Reid moved to Foster City following his separation from Linda, and went to work for Home Safety Services, where he combined his handyman talents with his passion for helping people. In 2017, he moved to Emeryville to take a position as an assembly technician for SuitX, a company creating bionic devices and exoskeletons supporting medical and industrial applications.
Reid is survived by his parents, his brother, Ryan Smith, his grandparents Robert Cunningham and Roger and Margaret Smith, and his aunts and uncles—Laura Cunningham and Fred Byers, Susan and Steve Maionchi and Khandi and Raymond Smith. He was predeceased by his grandmother Evelyn Cunningham.
A celebration of Reid’s life is scheduled at 11 a.m. on Aug. 11 at Tulocay Cemetery Funeral Home in Napa. Guests are invited to wear light-colored clothing to honor Reid’s spirit. In lieu of flowers, donations in Reid’s memory can be made to Best Buddies International (bestbuddies.org) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Solano County (namisolanocounty.org).