HANS SMITH (55) Hans was born April 2, 1964 to Paul and Patricia Smith in Medford, Oregon. He died due to an accident while removing a fallen tree from a roof near Eagles Nest Lake during the storm of September 17th.
Hans and his brother Erik grew up in Ely with their youth spent canoeing, x-c skiing the lakes and backpacking various mountains out West. When seventeen Hans worked for several years as a cowboy on ranches in Montana and Nebraska. He worked at various fire jobs on the Superior National Forest before becoming a smokejumper for ten years at Missoula, Montana and West Yellowstone, Montana. Then he transferred to Alaska for several years of fire duties at Tok and McGrath. He finally returned to Ely to open his own business of tree work and also worked at national fire overhead teams in the western states.
Hans spent many winters traveling with friends and family to Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Phillipines, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Bali, Korea, China, Laos, Thailand, India and Hawaii. At various times in his life he was an avid canoeist, backpacker, back country and telemark skier, rock climber, moose hunter, surfer and both outrigger canoeist and surfer in Hawaii. He lived an adventuresome life! He is survived by his wife Traci and their son Rowan, a stepfather to Bryce of Hong Kong, Alexis of Australia, Jacob of Kona, Hawaii, his brother Erik of Ely and Zhuhai, China and his dad, Paul of Ely.
Hans’ mother Patricia Donnick preceeded him in passing in 2014.
A memorial gathering for Hans will be held on October 12 at the Hidden Valley Ski Chalet from 1:00-4:00pm. This will be a very informal gathering just as Hans would have wished. At 2 p.m. there will be time for anyone wishing to relate a short story about Hans. Anyone wishing to do so should contact his dad Paul, at 218-235-3858 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so a speaking list can be made up.
Coffee, tea and cider will be served along with cookies and bars. Anyone wishing to bring any of these last items will be appreciated.
To send flowers to Hans' family, please visit our floral section.